#Help PREVENT SUICIDE

Our Organization

We are a non-profit organization servicing the great state of Michigan. The mission is to provide financial and emotional support for survivors of suicide loss and individuals with lived experience of suicide, while engaging in community prevention through mental health education and advocacy to support healthier futures.

We are passionate about our goals and our mission, and this is why we minimize overhead to just enough to sustain our daily operations. While we fundraise and accept donations for a variety of uses, all of which are dedicated to our mission, we allocate the vast majority of funds raised for direct financial assistance for survivors of suicide loss, helping defray and alleviate the unexpected cost burdens associated with their loss.

To accomplish our goals, we fundraise through participation in many community events, including festivals, concerts, fundraisers, memorials, and remembrances, as well as providing event sponsorships and speakers when such events align with our mission.

Suck It! Suicide

Suck It! Suicide is the outreach program of Six Feet Over, which also does the bulk of the fundraising for Six Feet Over through merchandise sales and in person donations. Suck It! Suicide (SIS) specializes in community outreach, doing so in unconventional ways and places.

We have chosen to focus our outreach in places that generally aren't often at the top of other mental health and suicide prevention organizations lists to do so. SIS is often seen at community festivals, Pride events, concerts, local shows and sometimes just hanging out at a bar. Our founder, Kate Hardy, never felt comfortable in the mainstream...of anything really, so when she created this program she made it for communities that wouldn't seek the information on their own because of: stigma, comfort levels, knowing what to search, who to ask, shame, etc.

Kate also felt that there needed to be something that was less "pastel and kittens hanging from a branch poster", and something people would identify with, find cool, and be comfortable approaching because it didn't appear or present as a conventional mental health and suicide prevention non profit. Over time, we have found that folks from all walks of lives identify with SIS and its culture, and we will love them all!

We see mental health and suicide prevention as something you CAN ask questions about, you CAN admit to dealing with, and you should be able to do so without judgment from others or fear of being labeled dangerous, 'crazy', unlovable, a burden, ignorant, or weird. SIS takes pride in supporting every person who needs it, no matter what they look like, what they believe, who they love, or how they identify. We also believe that laughter heals, and we make sure our outreach table is filled with laughs along with the hugs and occasional tears.

SIS is real people, giving real space, real time, real love and real knowledge to other very real people, while having a great time, selling merch and raising money to help people in need.

Vision

Six Feet Over envisions a world free of suicide loss – one where people from diverse backgrounds have access to the resources and tools they need to live peacefully and support their family and peers around issues of mental health.

Goals
  • Educate

    We educate, train, and equip individuals with helpful and relevant resources, to encourage awareness, understanding, and conversation about suicide.

  • Cultivate

    We cultivate a visible presence in the community through collaboration with artists and local businesses, to make our work and our passion better known.

  • Distribute

    We distribute our branded products and awareness materials, to both further our visible presence and help fund our programming.

  • Assist

    We assist individuals with lived experience and their families to ease the difficulty and pain of their grieving and healing processes.

Founders Story

Kate is the survivor of 9 deaths by suicide including her mom in 2003. She accidentally created Suck It! Suicide in 2012 after a one off fundraiser for another non profit resulted in extra shirts with what is now the SIS logo, and subsequent suicide of someone in her community named Jason. Kate is weird, passionate, and finds writing about herself extremely uncomfortable, especially in the third person. With the encouragement of her friends and family Katie founded Six Feet Over. Kate is a wife and mom, living in Livonia MI.

Board Members
Kirsten Bondalapati - President

Kirsten Bondalapati works as a service designer for Civilla, where she helps redesign the process of applying for public benefits in the state of Michigan, to better assist residents. Previously, she designed and facilitated design thinking and youth entrepreneurship programs focused on social impact. She also worked as a health policy fellow where she provided research and analysis support for policy and community health projects in Michigan, including those related to healthcare reform and mental health. She has previously founded and co-ran a small business with her sister-in-law. Kirsten earned a BA in History and Psychology from the University of Michigan and an MPH in Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health from Emory University.

Liz Thon - Secretary

Liz has loved ones who have mental health concerns, as well as having many other experiences that have driven her to participating on our board. Liz has literally no pictures that resemble a professional portrait. She is a student and massage therapist (don’t ask for a massage unless you intend on paying for it), living in Wyandotte, MI with her fiance, cats and many, many, many books.

Carlos Padilla - Treasurer

Carlos is the survivor of the loss of his God Mother and family friend Kathy Simpson, Kate’s mom. Carlos currently works in accounting with his family through their company, Carlex, based out of Detroit, MI. Carlos currently lives in the Detroit Metro area with his fiance and fellow board member Kristen (who is way out of his league) and his dog Bullet (the unofficial mascot of SFO).

Ian Boyle - Events and Booking Coordinator

Ian is an experienced SIS volunteer for events and has experience in the music industry. Ian lost one of his best friends in 2012, Jason Lockwood, which propelled him into his loss survivorship. Ian has a great many connections to artists, venues and booking agents after having been involved in the music industry for most of his adult life.He believes that SFO/SIS can create long lasting partnerships that can increase our presence through the community and help bring the conversation to new places and people. Ian currently lives in Metro Detroit with his girlfriend Kaitlyn and their dog, Raven.

Lisa Klein - Brand Ambassador, Visual Media

An award-winning director and writer dedicated to crafting groundbreaking documentary features. Her current project, THE S WORD, is a documentary that tackles one of the most cloistered issues of our time through the emotional stories of suicide attempt and loss survivors. She tours the country speaking and using her films to raise awareness of mental health issues. She is co-founder, with her husband Doug Blush, of MadPix Inc., an LA-based production company dedicated to producing character-driven stories that create global impact and social change. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California.

Brooke Brewster - Volunteer Coordinator

Brooke is from Clio, just outside of Flint. She is a jack of many trades, currently teaching a variety of high school art classes and working at a greenhouse part time because teachers don’t get paid enough. Brooke lost a student to suicide and became active as a volunteer with SIS. She has become an integral part of many of our events. Along with being in charge of the volunteers, Brooke will also be doing most of the local photography that Lisa will then use to create media for content. Brooke lives in Plymouth with her menagerie of animals including her dog Doodle.

Dr. Nicole Law, PsyD LP - Clinical

Nicole graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in English literature describing a deep desire to understand “the artistic version of the human experience.” Nicole went on to work several careers including bridging cultural differences while living in Brazil, as a consultant in global intelligence/protection of global assets, and marketing.

After the loss of her eldest son due to a genetic disorder, Nicole reached the darkest point of her life. Connections with others along with an incredibly talented therapist helped to turn life around. Nicole decided to return to school and earn a Masters and subsequent doctoral degree in Humanistic, clinical, psychology.

During her first clinical internship at Affirmations LGBT cultural center in Ferndale, MI, Nicole witnessed many incidents of suicide and self-harm that seemed to be driven by the disconnect between familial and cultural expectations and the desire to be one’s free, authentic self. Since then, Dr. Law has devoted a large part of her career to helping reduce the risk of suicide in LGBTQ+ youth. Dr. Law is a speaker / advocate, Director of Clinical Training, Director of Diversity, and founder of her practice, Aloe Integrative Psychology Group.

Dr. Law lives in Rochester Hills, MI with her two kids, two dogs, two kittens, and one husband. Although she prefers odd numbers, she can’t seem to escape the number 2.

Hudson Harris - Board Member

Hudson Harris is skilled communicator and designer whose success is rooted in his diverse background, his experience with human-centered design, and his ability to build a shared understanding and drive change. His knowledge of data, analytics, and the complexities in crafting cross-sector projects brings a unique approach to every engagement. Hudson has earned a reputation for technology-enabled innovation that spans traditional boundaries to create inspired solutions. In the public sector, Hudson works with governments, schools, health care entities, and social service agencies to build better systems of care that integrate behavioral health and technology. In the private sector, Hudson innovates with organizations on product design,consumer/patient experience, and artificial intelligence. Over the past few years, Hudson joined forces with SAP to launch a suicide awareness campaign that led to appearances in Business Insider, Forbes’, and speaking at South by Southwest for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In other talents, Hudson is a California attorney, holds an MBA in Marketing, MA in International Business, and is accredited by the Intl. Assoc. of Privacy Professionals. He is an active supporter of the American Assoc. of Suicidology and Six Feet Over. He also likes to play with wood, his two boys and his bulldog Penny.

Beth Vernon - Board Member (Fundraising / Donor Relations / Major Events)

Beth Vernon is a seasoned fundraising professional currently working as the Executive Director of the Grosse Pointe Library Foundation. She and her three children- Galen, Ethan, and Allison - are survivors of the suicide loss of her husband (their father) of 19 years. Beth knows well the comfort of a community of support in times of loss and hopes to return the favor. Her philosophy - ex malo bonum - out of bad, comes good – directed her desire to work with SFO.

Benny Capual - Board Member (Funeral Professional)

Benny Capaul, is a 4th generation funeral director in Ida, Michigan. He is a graduate of Wayne State University’s Mortuary Science school. Benny is active on multiple boards, supplying his knowledge and expertise on the topics of death, funeral services and best practices, including Gabby’s Ladder and The Michigan Funeral Directors Association. In additon to his work and board activities he is a husband, father, punk rocker, and podcast co-creator and co-host of ‘Let’s Talk About Death.

Dr. Leela Chandrasekar, MD - Advisory

Leela Chandrasekar is a recent graduate from Central Michigan University College of Medicine. Completing her senior year rotations at St. John Hospital in Detroit in 2018/2019 and now moving on to her pediatric residency program in Chicago. Passionate about working with children, she has learned a great deal about mental health from the adolescent population in the Detroit area. Leela is our resident medical advisor badass!

David S. Parnell, Esq - Advisory

David, unlike Liz, has nothing but professional pictures that can be found via Google. David acts as the counsel for Six Feet Over and advises us on all things legal. He concentrates his professional practice in deceptive business practices, debt collection harassment, class actions and representative actions, business organization and litigation, civil rights, criminal defense, and credit report errors. He has worked as part of the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and Washtenaw County as a public defender, as well as working for a private defense firm before joining The Parnell Firm. We affectionately refer to David as The King of Ireland, just go with it but if you have questions about this, ask Liz.

ARE YOU IN CRISIS?

If you or someone you know is in crisis, you have options. Please text "SIS" to 741741 to speak with a trained counselor; call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; call 911; or visit your nearest Emergency Room.