NAMPA, Idaho — There's a very special free event coming up on Wednesday, January 5th at the Idaho Center in Nampa called Connection is the Cure. It's a suicide awareness event, a concert, and a way to share, teach and advocate for better mental health in our community.
A Meridian woman, September Frogley, organized the event. She is still mourning the loss of her younger brother Robert, who died by suicide on May 9th of 2021.
"He had a vigorous battle with mental illness and substance abuse disorder, and when you lose someone like this there are just so many things you don't understand," said September Frogley, organizer of Connection is the Cure. "I felt like after we lost him, I just didn't want any other family to have to go through something like this and experience something like this."
Frogley had to do something proactive in her brother's memory, so she went to work. In the month of September, she started to collect items for care packs for people who are dealing with a mental health crisis.
"Things like a toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, and also in those care packs would be a list of local resources and a handwritten note of encouragement," Frogley said. "I felt like this would be a good start to distribute these care packs throughout the community, so if someone left a facility or entered a facility, they would be able to have something to figure out what to do next. Then, about halfway through the month, my brother's best friend sent me a screenshot of a post that Alex Boye made. He was doing these concerts down in Utah for mental health and suicide prevention, and I just thought this is so awesome."
In 2019, artist Alex Boyé wrote a moving song about suicide prevention, it is called "Bend not Break". Working toward better mental health for all has become his lifelong mission. Boyé has been a part of multiple suicide prevention events in other states. So, Frogley decided to reach out and invite him here to Idaho. She heard back from him in minutes.
"I was sitting at my kitchen table, and I sent him a direct message over Instagram," Frogley said. "It was an astounding 'yes, we would love to come to Idaho!'"
That's how Connection is the Cure was born! Frogley and her team have been planning this uplifting free January 5th concert and community event ever since.
"I formed this little team of ladies to start working on this project, and nothing could have prepared me for the response that we got from our community. It was humbling to see how many people have been affected by this, and how many people were willing to jump on board. People are ready to talk about this more openly and create a comfortable place to talk about mental health."
The event will be held at a large venue, the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
"One of our main goals is to connect people to people, and people to resources. We're going to have a lot of ambassadors from different schools and clubs and groups. Alex Boye will perform which is amazing. He is a ball of energy and has such a passion for this work, he genuinely loves people and has so much empathy, and has overcome so much in his life that has put him in this place. We have also formed a 100 student choir in the valley that will sing about three songs with him so that's being put together and it's just so awesome."
Frogley has put her heart and soul into this event in honor of her brother. She knows how important something like this is for our community. Especially right now with mental health being such a focus during the pandemic. She wants people of all walks of life to come and be a part of this groundbreaking night.
"It's okay to not be okay, they just need to know that they are not alone in their feelings," Frogley said. "I believe that early intervention can really change someone's trajectory. If someone can get to this event and be connected to the people around them and know that they are loved, that may be all it takes for them to go down a different path. I truly believe that we can make a difference."
Connection is the Cure is on Wednesday, January 5th at the Ford Idaho Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event starts at 6:30 p.m. People are invited to come early and visit all the wonderful resource booths.
People can learn more about the event by visiting the Connection is the Cure Facebook page.
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