Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-01-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Youth counselor talks Night of Hope, suicide prevention
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2014-09-02

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


For Brandon Rohlwing, prevention and stigma reduction surrounding suicide and mental-health issues have become his life's work. As a national youth counselor for Reachout.com, Rohlwing helps with the organization's decision making processes and organizes community events in the Chicagoland area.

One way that Rohlwing is building awareness about suicide prevention and mental health issues is through the Night of Hope event he is leading at Roosevelt University. ( He is currently a junior at the university, and is majoring in sociology as well as marketing and communications. ) The Sept. 10 event marks World Suicide Prevention Day and National Suicide Prevention Week.

Rohlwing knew from the time he was in middle school that he was gay, however, he feared coming out. "This was really hard for me because I grew up in West Dundee [in Kane County] which is a very conservative community. My dad is a very strong republican and there was a certain stigma that I associated with that political affiliation as well as my town ... this caused me a lot of anxiety and depression," said Rohlwing.

During the spring of his junior year in high school, Rohlwing's anxiety reached a point where it drained him of all his energy so one night he Googled ways to kill himself and through this search he found Reachout.com .

"I almost didn't click on the link because I was looking for ways to kill myself not resources to help me," said Rohlwing. "I was on the website for three hours reading stories from teens who had similar experiences. I watched videos and read fact sheets about coming out. Through that I was able to do some self reflection and learn a little bit more about myself, the LGBT community and the resources available to me. I was able to stop myself from ending my life."

Rohlwing woke his parents up that night, told them he was gay and they immediately supported him. "I couldn't have asked for a better coming out experience," said Rohlwing.

Not only did his parents accept and support Rohlwing, his older sister Elizabeth ( Biz ) was also a big source of support. Rohlwing wasn't sure how his classmates would respond so he told his best friend at the beginning of the summer before their senior year and by the time he got back to school everyone knew and most of them were supportive and told him how much they respected him for living his truth.

A couple of months after Rohlwing came out, he sent an email to Reachout.com thanking them for saving his life and they sent a response back thanking him for sharing his story and asked him if he was interested in joining their youth council. Rohlwing applied and four months later he was accepted as a national youth counselor. "It's been really wonderful working with Brandon because he is so proactive, gracious and such a strong person," said Nicola Survanshi, director of programs and operations for Reachout.com .

Rowling's sister Biz moved to California to take a production job during Rohlwing's senior year in high school and as far as Rohlwing and his parents knew she was happy and liked her job but she was out there by herself. What they didn't know is Biz was struggling not only financially but also emotionally and psychologically. "We knew that she had depression before but we didn't have any reason to believe that she was still struggling with depression," said Rohlwing. On Rohlwing's graduation day ( which also happened to be Biz's birthday ) they were notified that she died by suicide.

"Part of me felt like a failure because I was already active in suicide prevention and mental health awareness and this was what I was passionate about and I couldn't even save my own sister," said Rohlwing. "That experience [his sister's suicide] made me really focus more on prevention and stigma reduction around suicide and mental health and when I went to school [Roosevelt University] that fall I knew that this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life."

Not only does Rohlwing serve as a national youth counselor for Reachout.com, he is also a resident assistant ( RA ) for the gender and diversity inclusion community floor in his dorm. As an RA, Rohlwing is responsible for dealing with any issues that might arise and creating programming for the students living on the floor.

"We are happy to welcome all guests to our event," said Rohlwing. "It's going to be a great night full of speakers and conversation about how we can make a change. I really think that through this event we will be one step closer to living in a world without suicide."

See www.facebook.com/events/718200094883983 and us.reachout.com for more information .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Anti-bullying laws including sexual orientation associated with fewer suicides 2019-01-15 - Sexual minority youth have a higher prevalence of bullying and attempted suicide than non-sexual minority youth. New research from the Williams Institute at ...


Gay News

Report highlights lack of support for student survivors of domestic violence 2019-01-02 - A report published by Chicago's Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law shows that while coverage of the incidence of sexual abuse in ...


Gay News

1,000 LGBT youth protected from conversion therapy in 2018, five states pass laws 2018-12-27 - New estimates from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law find that 1,000 LGBT youth ages 13 to 17 will be protected ...


Gay News

GenderCool Champions on their lives, Chicago trip, future hopes 2018-12-26 - The GenderCool Project started when founders Gearah Goldstein and Jen and John Grosshandler teamed up to create an organization dedicated to spotlighting the ...


Gay News

ACLU decries central Illinois school letter 2018-12-26 - ACLU of Illinois weighed in with a letter Dec. 19 advising a central Illinois middle-school principal who had declared that talk of sexual ...


Gay News

ACLU: Schools must not limit talk of sexual orientation as "disruptive" 2018-12-19 - CHICAGO — Discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity are appropriate topics for middle school students, and schools should not limit such discussions ...


Gay News

LGBTQ groups condemn federal commission move to rescind school disciplinary guidance 2018-12-19 - NEW YORK, NY— Yesterday, GLSEN, the National Black Justice Coalition ( NBJC ), the National Center for Transgender Equality ( NCTE ), and ...


Gay News

DeVos Rescinds Obama Guidance, Leadership Conference responds 2018-12-18 - WASHINGTON — Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the School ...


Gay News

Coming out to your kids in midlife 2018-12-12 - When the parents of Natalie Perry and her sister sat their girls down for a family meeting, Perry learned that their father, a ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN's LGBTQ children's book gift guide 2018-12-12 - It's time for my annual roundup of some of this year's best LGBTQ-inclusive children's and middle-grade books! This is one of the first ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.