Meet Betty . . . National Coordinator

Behind every successful man is a lady not given enough credit . . . (Email Betty)

Betty and her kids . . .

Betty and her kids . . .

Here is Betty's Story . . .

Hey, y’all (I’m not southern)! I am a small town Kansas girl who enjoys living a simple life.  As a young mother, I was determined to rise above the teen mom status and become an educated leader and role model for my children. I believe that kindness and being a person of character is far more important than being rich or finding happiness through money and fame. I’d like to bring up my children to value these traits highly.

In the fall of 2013, I couldn’t have been happier.  I had a great job as an insurance agent for a Fortune 500 Company, I volunteered for the local ambulance service as an EMT, I had become debt free, and I had started dating an amazing man of faith.  Most importantly, I had three healthy, happy, and active children! Kyler, age 15, Broderick (Brode), 13,  and Sheridan, 9.

I remember being excited for what 2014 would bring! I anticipated the new year and great memories with my family.

Unexpectedly, everything changed on the morning of February 26, 2014. Thirty minutes after telling my kids I loved them and wishing them a great day at school, I received a phone call from the high school office that Kyler hadn’t shown up to class.

The next five minutes would forever change me as well as the life I once knew.  My family isn’t the same; my career isn’t the same; my kids aren’t the same.  Everything changed.  I was broken but still had to be The Rock in my family.  Every sense of normal I had once known was forever changed.  Just like that, life changed and this is something I do not wish on any family.  Who would have thought that my son would make a forever decision?  Certainly, I never thought it would happen to us.

Kyler had taken his life . . .

As I stood in Kyler’s bedroom looking at his lifeless body, I realized I had two choices: curl up and die with him or WAKE UP and start living life for him. Kyler made a forever decision that morning and became 1 of the 454 suicides in the state of Kansas that year.  Even with a strong support system and faith – the WHYs, the HOWs, and the guilt was taking its toll on me and our small community.

I knew we all needed something or someone to help start the healing process.  This is when we found Jeff.

In September of 2015, I was able to bring Jeff Yalden into my community. “During the two-day visit, Jeff gave me the courage to start fighting passionately for suicide education and prevention and to step outside of my comfort zone in order to use my voice.”

Since Jeff’s visit  . . . so much has changed.

I have become determined to make a difference in families and schools regarding suicide prevention.  I have testified in front of the Kansas Senate and House to help pass into Law SB 323 that mandates suicide education and prevention to all Kansas school staff.  I’ve committed to being a support system and resource for local families in the event they experience the unthinkable themselves.  I know my passion is far greater than the state of Kansas and the midwest; I want to help and make more of a difference.

I know that I can’t take back time and bring Kyler home.  Nothing can bring Kyler back, but with each life touched, I honestly believe that there is one family fewer who has to go to bed each night with the unthinkable pain my family endures.  Suicide is forever.  Pain isn’t.  As Jeff says, “Suicide is a permanent action to a temporary situation.”  I am determined to help Jeff give hope to the hopeless.

It’s been the most emotional and trying time, but Jeff has been a great resource and an inspiration to me, my community, and my family.  When Jeff called and we talked about his non-profit foundation, I couldn’t help but be excited.  I prayed. I talked it over with my family, and I left my job and came to work with Jeff as his National Coordinator.

However I can help you get Jeff to your school and your community, you let me know.  I look forward to working with you and helping Jeff touch hearts and change lives.

Betty Brennan, National Coordinator

Email Me or call toll free (800) 948-9289

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