The Lou Ruspi Jr. Foundation, LRJ, is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to improve mental wellness and suicide prevention through interactive educational programming to school districts and the community.
We creatively engage our audience by simulating real-life experiences and discussions. View our Programs page for a detailed description of our presentations.
Our vision is to educate the community on all aspects of mental wellness through interactive presentations. We educate on the most common concerns including, anxiety, depression, suicide prevention, coping skills, and healthy relationships. The LRJ Foundation utilizes evidence-based research to teach user-friendly coping skills, tools to build healthy relationships, and strategies to effectively emotionally regulate. We believe positive mental wellness improves all other aspects of our lives.
Lou (a.k.a Louie) Ruspi, Jr. was a charismatic and outgoing young man. From his loud, deep laugh to his bright, joyful smile, Louie’s personality instantly lit up a room. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved his family, including his nieces and nephews, dearly.
But what others saw on the outside was almost the exact opposite of how Louie felt on the inside…
From his teenage years, he dealt with environmental and mental health issues that escalated as he grew older. He began some therapy in high school for a short period yet seemed to internalize much of what he was dealing with. He went on, day after day, seemingly doing well. After graduation, Louie entered the workforce, and after a few years, he began classes at Keystone College, majoring in biology. There, he excelled. Louie was in a wonderful place in his life… or so we thought.
On December 23, 2011, Louie took his own life.
A young man so smart, funny, joyful, and determined to succeed had ended his life? How could this happen? Why?
With a stigma surrounding mental health issues and a lack of education and available resources, depression, mania, and possibly bipolar disorder went undiagnosed. Louie did not want to end his life. He wanted the struggle and pain to end.
This is not about Louie’s story but the story of all those that can relate. Established in 2012 by sisters Teressa Ruspi and Karla Ruspi, LRJ Foundation’s stellar team of professional mental health counselors seeks to help those struggling and bring mental health education and suicide prevention to our communities.
Most importantly, LRJ Foundation has given over 56,000 students the courage to open up and get the help they need before it’s too late.
Contact us today to your school or community presentation and take the steps to be #BetterThanYesterday
Thanks to our generous sponsors and supporters, we are fortunate to provide these services at a low cost to school districts and youth groups. Due to the large number of requests the LRJ Foundation receives for community and corporate seminars, a nominal fee may now be charged for these presentations. Hosting a dress down day or t-shirt sale can offset the minimal cost. Interested in donating? Please click here.