September marks Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in the United States. Joel Frieders is a Yorkville alderman, and since the death of his friend Mike a few years ago, an outspoken proponent of suicide prevention both from a personal standpoint and as an elected official.

Joel is not your typical politician, though.


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My buddy Steve and I had put a “date far in the future” on the calendar, way back in June, to make sure we had a chance to sit in each other’s presence as soon as possible. Because life is the way it is, it ended up being us attending a reception at city hall in Aurora for the Ugandan Parliament, as they came to visit my friend Cody and his coffee shop, Endiro Coffee, because they’re the only Ugandan brand in the entire USA. Right after we walk in, my friend Stephanie asked for more HFTD wristbands, aaaaaand right after I handed her a fat sack, the Ugandan Parliament showed up to celebrate the newly minted in the @cityofaurorail, @EndiroCoffee Day. And then we went back to @gillersonsgrubbery to play bingo with @tangledrootsbrewingcompany . Not even sure how you’re supposed to properly tag or hashtag all this. But, yep, that was this evening.

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The interview is long (about 30 minutes), but you will feel inspired to help not only others, but yourself. We cover the municipal proclamation project spearheaded by Frieders where he pushed city councils around the world to adopt a suicide prevention awareness proclamation, his work with Hope For The Day, and exciting things happening in the city in which he serves.

If you are looking for information about suicide awareness, please visit Hope For The Day.


It’s OK not to be OK.