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Deeatra Kajfosz is the Executive Director of LiFE OF HOPE, a non-profit she created that is in the business of saving lives that may otherwise end prematurely by suicide. Raised by a single mother, Deeatra learned at age 6 that the man she called Dad was not actually her father. Her mother was not forthcoming with an explanation and Deeatra began therapy to help her understand and deal with what she was feeling. As she became an adult, she pursued several avenues in the hope of finding her real father, including hiring a private investigator and taking several DNA tests. She talks about where that search has led. After starting 2 successful businesses, including a marketing company called Nalani Services, Deeatra was on a trip with her son when she received an email that would change the course of and purpose for, her life.
The email informed her about the death by suicide of a close friend and business colleague named Kirk. Thoughts about how someone like Kirk could die by suicide rolled in her head like they might for any of us. For Deeatra, though, it brought her own experience, which included multiple previous suicide attempts that she’d never talked about, to the forefront and inspired her to wind down her business and start LiFE OF HOPE to provide resources and tools to help people understand and work though their suicide risk and behavior factors.
Mike and Deeatra cover a ton of great stuff in this episode, including the 2 things that terrify her and how she was determined to figure them out, how her mom tried to scare her after her first suicide attempt by telling her how to do it right, the impact of Dr. Thomas Joiner on her and her thinking about suicide ideology, the 3 rules to life and her upcoming TEDx talk. She’s an amazing storyteller and leader.
And now here’s Deeatra Kajfosz.
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