Sidney C. Stuckey Wants African Americans to Seek Help Without the Worry of Stigma
ST. LOUIS, MO (STL.News) Creating a new non-profit organization was the farthest idea from Sidney C. Stuckey’s mind, but it has become his passion following the death by suicide of his younger brother, Richard, in April of 2005. His grieving process sent him on a fact-finding mission, learning everything he could about suicide and mental health. He talked to those who have suffered from depression, in addition to counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists, ultimately facilitating grief sessions himself. In 2018 he finally decided to put his organization in place. It would be called Tunnel Light, Inc.
“Most people who are suffering from some form of depression, we always think of that as darkness or being in a hole or being where there’s no light, no escape,” says Stuckey, Founder of Tunnel Light, Inc. “So, that’s what I was thinking myself. It’s a light at the end of that dark tunnel that a person may be feeling mentally.”
One 2019 study listed suicide as the second leading cause of death for young Black men. Another study the same year sounded the alarm of a rising trend of suicides among Black youth ages 13 – 19. During a 16-year time period – 2001 to 2017 – suicide among Black girls nearly doubled and suicide among Black boys rose 60-percent. September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and Stuckey says it’s the perfect time to begin to normalize taking care of our mental health.
“We need to learn that it’s ok to make going to see a psychologist or psychiatrist a regular part of our health routine,” says Stuckey. “Just like we go to get a physical exam once or twice a year, we need to do that, as well, with our mental health, if not more often.”
Stuckey wants Tunnel Light to help the community become mentally well, whether dealing with depression or any number of mental illnesses. He sees the organization providing funding for individuals without access to health care or other resources, subsidies for families to cover things like daycare or transportation where the lack of these necessities causes stress, and a safe space for dialogue with someone who cares.
“It made me sad that my brother felt that he couldn’t talk to us,” says Stuckey. So, when people think of Tunnel Light, “I want then to think of hope,” he says.
For more information on Tunnel Light, Inc., email INFO@TUNNELLIGHT.ORG or call (314) 814-6700.
About Tunnel Light, Inc.
Tunnel Light, Inc. was founded in 2018 by Sidney C. Stuckey in the wake of his younger brother’s suicide. It seeks to provide a light at the end of the tunnel for those with mental and physical health crises in urban, low-income, disadvantaged, and similarly at-risk communities in the form of food, nutrition, affordable housing, education, and employment and mental health awareness training. Tunnel-Light envisions a world where individuals and families impacted by mental illness, regardless of color, creed, background and environment, seek the help they need without worry of stigma.