When a group of like-minded people “find” one another, magic can happen. When that same group of people works tirelessly to raise awareness about suicide and mental illness, people pay attention.
*UNTOLD STRENGTH was born out of a desire to help our community find the strength to speak out without shame or judgment.
*UNTOLD STRENGTH wants to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and help those who are suffering.
*UNTOLD STRENGTH believes that by bringing people together, advocating for change, educating the public and opening a dialogue about anxiety, depression, PTSD and suicide, that together we can end the silence.
We ARE Untold Strength and together, we’re making a difference. Each and every one of us comes to this group for varied reasons but each of us believes our voices are stronger as a united one.
Bringing THIS IS MY BRAVE to the state of Maine affords us a powerful opportunity to spark conversations. We know each other’s stories but we are eager to hear yours.
We are honored for you to meet us as we anxiously await the opportunity to meet you.
Tracy Griffin, Founder & President of Untold Strength, lost her cousin, Sue Ann Griffin, to suicide in 1990 and her dad, Milton Johnson Griffin, in 1994. In those years, suicide and mental illness were subjects that were not spoken of. Later in life, between the years of 2006 and 2016, suicide took the lives of five more people that she personally knew. Tracy knew for many years that she wanted to do something to help prevent suicide in her community. She was well aware of the effects suicide had on the loved ones left behind. Mental illness not only takes the lives of those that suffer, but in turn, those left behind later suffer from mental illness as well. Having had multiple conversations with Hallie about doing “something” to put a stop to this, the idea of Untold Strength finally came to fruition and with the help of Hallie and Donna, she made her dream happen.
Hallie Twomey, Co-Founder & Vice President of Untold Strength, knows all too well the horror of suicide and the devastating impact it leaves on a family. After an argument in 2010 with her 20-year-old son CJ, she was left to face life knowing her beloved son chose to end his with a single gunshot to the head. Although she blames herself for what transpired that day, Hallie is determined to prevent anyone else from walking in CJ’s shoes. She has spent the last 6 years raising awareness about the importance of organ donation and openly and honestly sharing CJ’s story as a way to foster conversation about suicide and the horrific destruction it leaves in its wake. As a way to deal with her own grief, Hallie started SCATTERING CJ, a project to spread her son’s ashes across the world. In doing so, the Scattering CJ Facebook page has become a community of compassionate people, many of who willingly share their own struggles with suicide. Hallie believes in Tracy’s vision and is anxious to see Untold Strength positively impact the lives of others.
Donna Lafean, Treasurer and Board member of Untold Strength, has been exposed to mental illness amongst family and friends; but, was really impacted strongly when a close friend of her son chose to take his own life in front of her. Donna watched her best friend and her friend’s family go through the most horrific loss a person can go through. In the past 7 years she has donated her time to fundraisers, blood donation events, as well as helping promote "Scattering CJ" Facebook page, a project to help scatter ashes around the world. Donna strongly believes in Tracy and Hallie's passion to help bring awareness to suicide in our community.
In 2011, Mike Polizzi was just beginning his retired life when, later that year, tragedy struck. His world was changed forever when he lost his oldest son, Michael Anthony, to suicide. The sudden and shocking awareness that he was clueless about mental illness in general, and Mike’s struggle with bipolar and depression specifically, devastated him. In the years since, Mike has been trying to overcome the guilt he felt having failed as a father. Mike met Tracy and Hallie at a NAMI Maine event in 2016 and quickly realized he shared their vision. He decided to join as a Board member with Untold Strength in memory of his son in the hopes that he can help others from experiencing this pain and suffering.
Kristi Norcross worked at an adult/adolescent psychiatric and chemical dependency unit for 10 years and has known many people that have either taken their life or been impacted by suicide. When she heard what Tracy, Hallie and Donna were doing she wanted to help. She believes that there needs to be more education regarding mental health and suicide awareness. Joining the board of UNTOLD STRENGTH is her way of influencing change and inspiring hope in others.
Auditions are open! Be brave and share your story!