In episode 234 of The Just Checking In Podcast we checked in with Jonathan Lee.

Jon is currently a Creative Director at an advertising agency and the Founder of mental health initiative The Life Jacket (TLJ).

After Jon’s friend Alex took his own life in 2023, he wanted to create a new suicide prevention tool that would have intervened in the period building up to Alex’s death. Jon tragically discovered Alex had been researching suicide methods online for a year prior to when he did it.

Jon then created an initiative in partnership with R;pple Suicide Prevention and The Life Jacket was born.

The Life Jacket aims to give people the skills, knowledge and confidence to take action and turn someone else’s life around.

In the UK alone, there are over 1.2 million internet searches every month on how one can take their own life.

TLJ work with organisations, alliances, universities and schools to reduce the number of lives lost to suicide through collective, preventative action.

To launch the platform, 17 life jackets were placed in locations around the UK, with each jacket dedicated to someone who has tragically lost their life to suicide.

In this episode, we discuss the journey of The Life Jacket, what Jon wants to achieve with it, the bubble which exists in some mental health spaces and how Jon wants to break out of that.

We also discuss his plans for the future including workshops and international Life Jacket chapters across the world.

For Jon’s mental health, we discuss the impact that Alex’s suicide had on him and his mental health, why he wanted to take that grief and turn it into TLJ and how we can positively intervene and spot the signs of a man or anyone when they are suicidal.

As always, #itsokaytovent

Find out more about The Life Jacket here.

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Music: PatawawaStrange


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