About

Our Mission

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 engage our audience in a creative manor simulating real life experiences and discussions. View our Programs page for a detailed description on our presentations.

What is LRJ Foundation’s Wear Yellow, #BetterThanYesterday movement? It’s a day we choose to make a viral fashion statement and show Yellow is more then a color;

  • It’s about well-being and happiness through education
  • It’s about spreading optimism
  • Kindness initiatives
  • Becoming more educated about mental health through interactive discussions
  • Learning effective ways to build resiliency and positive coping skills
  • Positive self-care
  • ALL THE GREAT THINGS WE INCLUDE IN OUR PRESENTATIONS

We are fortunate, thanks to our generous sponsors and supporters, to provide these services free of charge 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 making a donation? Please click here.

LRJ’s unique educational programs:

  • provide face-to-face interaction for the students with an experienced therapist;
  • are essential to learning about mental health and life long coping skills;
  • to date, have served 33,000 students, teachers and individuals through interactive seminars.

Our History

LRJ About PageLou (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 from 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 possible 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 Stann and Karla Farina, 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.

Throughout Pennsylvania and Georgia, the organization improves the lives of students;

  • in grades 2nd-12th grade, teacher in-services and Parent/mentor seminars;
  • with 45-mins- 1hour-long sessions led by certified and licensed professionals;
  • on topics ranging from depression and bullying to life transitions to empathy and kindness;
  • LRJ provides information on treatment options, coping skills, and provide resources for further outreach.

Most importantly, LRJ Foundation has given thousands of 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