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Former Major League Pitcher John Trautwein to Speak about the
Power of Life Teammates® in the Battle against Mental Illness and Suicide
Wake Forest and LJVM hope to host thousands of area teens, college students and their parents for event
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (MARCH 21, 2018) – Wake Forest University, Wake Forest Athletics, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, the Mental Health Association and a host of community partners are hosting a talk by former major league pitcher John Trautwein, who will discuss his personal story of tragedy and hope. Entitled "Teammates for Life: Leveraging the Positive Power of Peer Networks," Trautwein will present his powerful message about combatting teen and young adult suicide at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial (LJVM) Coliseum at 2825 University Parkway in Winston Salem on Monday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
When Trautwein and his wife Susie lost their teenage son Will to suicide in 2010, they saw no warning signs that their popular and apparently happy son was struggling. They realized that people in today's society simply don't talk about sadness, loneliness, and depression. To raise awareness about suicide and the challenges young people face in today's world, John and his wife created the Will to Live Foundation.
The foundation encourages young people to turn to each other for help and support. Teens and college students already have wonderful peer networks in place—athletic teams, a close-knit circle of friends, classmates, neighbors, church groups, clubs, co-workers, scout groups, and the list goes on. By leveraging the strength and positivity of each other, young adults facing loneliness and depression can tap into an instant support system. The Will to Live Foundation is on a mission to encourage kids to "talk about it" and serve as Teammates for Life as they encounter life's sorrows and joys.
"John's personal experience of the loss of his son Will is a powerful story for us all," said Ron Wellman, Director of Athletics at Wake Forest University and close friend, mentor, and former coach of John Trautwein. "Through the creation of the Will to Live Foundation, John and Susie have taken their tragedy and turned it into something positive. Their message is an important call to action that everyone in our community should hear. We hope that teens, their parents, counsellors, teachers, church youth leaders, college students, and anyone with a connection to teens and young adults will come hear John's powerful message."
For more information regarding the "Teammates for Life: Leveraging the Positive Power of Peer Networks" event taking place April 16 visit go.wfu.edu/teammates.
About the Will To Live Foundation
The Will To Live Foundation is a non-profit foundation that is dedicated to preventing teen suicide and improving the lives and "Will To Live" of teenagers everywhere. The Will To Live Foundation does this through education, motivation, consultation, charity, support and most importantly love and fellowship. The Will to Live Foundation works for and through young adults to help them always find the good in life and a "Will To Live" through all of life's trials. For more information on the foundation visit www.will-to-live.org.
About John Trautwein
A native of the Chicago area (Barrington, IL), John, along with his wife, Susie, moved to the Atlanta suburbs in 1997. John and Susie are the proud parents of four beautiful children. A Graduate of Northwestern University and a former professional baseball player (Expos/Red Sox), John currently is the Chief Customer Officer of Source Support Services in Lawrenceville, GA. Since the foundation started, John has made more than 500 speeches and presentations to students, parents, coaches, teachers and kids communities across America, spreading not only the suicide awareness message but also the foundation's message of finding hope and love in your Life Teammates®—turning the tragedy of the loss of his son, into a positive message that improves the lives and the Will To Live of kids everywhere. In 2012, John and Susie were awarded the "Presidential Point of Light" award for their work with the Will To Live Foundation.
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