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01 December 2019

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12/01/19 #SameHere Hero: Jay Nog

Today’s #SameHere🤙Hero: is a comedian, Jay Nog

 

Jay & I were introduced by mutual friends; friends who I’ve known since elementary school & he met in college. I guess when you’ve been impacted by MH in any way, shape, or form, & you’re doing what you can to advocate for change, friends notice the similarities in passions & put you together.

 

The timing for this one is interesting, having just visited Smithtown HS last wk, where they asked me to dive deeper than MH alone, & openly address the topic of suicide & suicidal ideations. At a time when I believe we as a society need to be more open about this topic, how many it impacts, how many attempts are made, how many we lose, how common ideations are, the intro to Jay happened, & from there I learned of yet another way someone is sharing this topic, to help educate & inform.

 
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Jay lost his best friend to suicide in the late 90’s. Just like the story often goes – his friend, “Goody,” was the life of the party & someone you’d never expect. Goody was in the “4in5” group…the ones we don’t believe have anything “wrong,” & then we suddenly lose.

 
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While Jay is a talented comedian, he used his platform to create a “one man show” all about his friend, called: The Goody Show. Cleverly, he told the story of his relationship w his best friend, at a theatre in NYC (more educational & heart-felt than humorous), inter-splicing his own dialogue, w clips about his own inner monologue & special relationship. It was an excellent work of art, one where he donated some of the proceeds to MH charities.

 
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He’s now looking to bring it on the road, to HS’s, colleges, & other venues. This topic unfortunately isn’t going away. Jay has found yet another clever way to address it & educate folks – bc that is what needs to be done. Please welcome our newest hero: Jay Nog.

 

“I lost my best friend to suicide in 1999. I was a junior in college & my best friend, who went to the University of Arizona, was found alone in his apartment, w a self-inflicted, fatal wound. I had no clue that he may have been depressed or suffering from any mental health complications. The best way I would describe him is that every girl wanted to be with him, & every guy wanted to be him.

 

This all happened when I was in college, still relatively young. As I got older I tried best I could, to process what happened & assess my feelings. I became an angrier person. My temper got bigger & bigger. I didn’t know what to do so I decided to talk to someone professionally, in my mid 20’s – which was the best decision I ever made. Therapy helps me address the feeling, thoughts, & questions I have. I don’t ever think I will have 100% closure but I do my best to accept what happened, & live my life to the fullest.

 

I have been in therapy for over 13 years & I feel that it helps greatly. I also surround myself with positive people – people who I love, & that makes everything easier.

 

I think suicide, mental health, & depression are still issues that our society doesn’t know how to deal with because of the negative labels. The more I talk about them, my & Goody’s #SameHere stories, the more comfortable people become discussing them & even reflecting internally. But we still have a long way to go. I will continue to work – through my comedy & my story sharing, to be part of the solution.”

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