By: Dylan Rumsey
Andy Hull Foundation
Topic: Suicide is never the answer
Organization: Andy Hull’s Sunshine Foundation
Specific Purpose: To show the audience that Suicide is never the answer and inform them of my amazing friend Andy who gave up on life.
- Attention Getter: If you could go back in time and do it all over again would you? Well for me on December 11, 2012 was a day I will never forget. My dear friend Andy took his life away by committing suicide at around 11 o’clock in the morning on that day. Andy and I were best friends when we were 13 years old, we played baseball together and were living the life in Little League. Andy taught me some very valuable life lessons, but one of which Andy was very good at was Giving. Andy taught me that, but I never gave that back to him in return. I wish I could go back in time to my junior year of High School when I transferred to his High School. I didn’t treat him right, I didn’t make the effort to be great friends with him, and if I could go back in time and do it all over again, that’s one big thing I would change. Do any of you have any big things you wish you could change? (To the audience)
- Relevance: In today’s day of age the pressure we have on us as Millennial’s is very high. We have Social Media, and Cell Phones, so bullying doesn’t just happen at school anymore. It happens 24/7. According to the CDC, “Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year” ( 2013). Little do people know what one text/tweet can do to another person’s life/thoughts. I feel like Cyber Bullying needs to be put to a stop but more than anything Suicide Awareness needs to be spread out and shouted among the roof tops.
- Credibility: Andy’s Mom (Leann Hull) is the one who actually runs the Andy Hull’s Sunshine foundation. She goes across AZ talking about Andy’s life and his story and explaining how suicide is never the answer. That’s what the foundation is for, to prevent suicides among all teenagers.
- Thesis: Today I will discuss the history of Andy, the tragic day, and what we can take away from this incident.
- History of Andy: Luckily I had the opportunity to play with Andy on my Little League All-star team where we became best friends. Andy and I were trouble together, whether it was ripping farts or hitting golf balls at people’s houses we had a blast together. I won’t forget the day when Andy and I gave all of our hard earned Peter Piper Pizza tickets to two little kids because they hadn’t won any yet. Andy taught me the valuable lesson of giving. Or when Andy pulled out 10 dollars out of his wallet on my Birthday. Boy do I miss the kid, we had some great times together. Oh and Andy and I broke a window at the Hotel we were staying at and didn’t say a word, when the staff and management tried to blame us, we lied. It was beautiful.
- The tragic day of December 11, 2012: Before 1st hour everyday of my senior year I would see Andy in the hallway and ask him how he was doing. For some odd reason everyday seemed worse for him, almost like he was depressed. I told my Mom and she said that it was weird that he was acting like that, but maybe he was acting to cool for me. But that wasn’t the case, Andy was on Accutane, an acne medicine that is a depressant. The acne medicine transformed the happiest kid I knew into a quiet kid. Andy was a junior and didn’t have a half day like us Seniors but for some reason the security guard let him out at 3rd hour without checking his School ID. About an hour after of ditching school there was a gunshot reported by the neighbors, Andy had shot and killed himself at around 11 o’clock. According to Channel 3 News, “there were 9 Teen suicides last year” (3 News, 2013).
- What we can learn from this: After learning about Andy’s suicide I learned that you can’t just ask and think that someone is doing OK because they said they are OK. You have to ask and get more in to depth with the conversation. Also you have to make sure to tell people that the do MATTER. That they are here for a purpose and no matter how down or terrible their life may seem, there is always a light at the end of the Tunnel. You constantly have to remind them that they have a purpose here on Earth. Leann Hull (Andy’s Mom) states, “Through this foundation, we are hoping to impact as many children, teens and adults as we possibly can” says LeAnn Hull, Andy’s Mom, “and spare even just one person the pain and anguish of suicide” (Hull, 2013)! She is one strong and amazing women.
- Transition: Stating Andy’s tragedy, to showing the audience that they do MATTER and that suicide isn’t the answer.
- Thesis Summary: Andy truly was an amazing kid and was loved by everyone who met him he was such a happy kid. The tragedy that happened on December 11, 2012 will forever be with me and I will never forget the lesson I learned from his suicide. You always have to make sure someone is doing ok, you can’t just assume they are because they say they are, you have to make sure and remind them they do MATTER each and every day.
- Memorable Closing: If someone you know is going through that rough time always remind them that they do matter and try to have a in depth conversation and see how they truly feel. And as it goes for all of you, if any of you feel down and feel like you don’t belong , please come and talk with me, I would love to sit down and listen to any of y’alls situations. Because trust me each and every one of you are put on this planet to do great things, YOU DO MATTER.
Hull, L. Phoenix: Andy Hull Foundation,(2013. 1. Web. 1 Jan.) 2013.<https://andyssunshine.com/>.
Suicide Awareness. N.p.: n.p.,( 2013. Web. 3 Apr.) <http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/bullying-and-suicide.html>.
Channel 3 News. Suicide Awareness. Phoenix: 3 News, (2013. N. page. Web. 3 Apr.) <http://www.azfamily.com/results/?searchbutton=Go&searchbutton=Go&keywords=suicide+rate&keywords=suicide%2Brate&search=site&search=site>.
September 21, 2014
Suicide takes the lives of 40,000 Americans each year with ages ranging from 16 to 65. With this, more Americans are now dying more commonly by taking their own lives than by HIV/AIDS (“SAVE | Suicide Facts,” n.d.). Although the tragedy of people dying by suicide has always existed, it has seemingly become more of a widespread issue in recent years. The importance of bringing hope to the families that are left behind and also bringing awareness to the community is necessary in order to decrease the number of deaths caused by suicide each year.
In order to decrease the amount of deaths caused by suicide each year, it is imperative to know what drives people to commit suicide. According to Kevin Caruso, 90% of people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death (Caruso, n.d.). When he says mental illness he is referring to the untreated depression that people live with who don’t seek help before it’s too late. Although clinical depression is the number one leading cause for suicidal deaths; it is not the only thing. There have been many cases where people who commit suicide are not depressed, do not show the common signs of one who is contemplating suicide and actually live completely normal, happy lives. Suicide can be a very impulsive and decided on last minute. A bad day can trigger thoughts of suicide and that is why it is so important to make known to people about the permanency of their action to end their life due to impulse.
Although suicide will always be considered a way out for some people, it is important to try to save as many lives as possible by spreading the simple message of “you matter” used by Andy Hull’s Sunshine Foundation. The foundation stresses the idea that you matter to at least one person in your life and that you are here for a purpose. It is important to discuss the topic of suicide in school systems and the community so that people are equipped with the knowledge to help someone who is struggling with the thought of suicide. Bringing hope to those left behind by reminding them that they matter as well can give them faith they will see their loved one again some day. By actively talking about suicide prevention, we can hope that it will help spare someone’s life.
As suicide becomes one of America’s silent killers, we need to provide tools to people contemplating suicide and bring peace to families left behind. There are so many people hurting in this world and the way we talk to and treat people have a lasting effect on others. We are responsible for building people up and being there for people in their time of need rather than ignoring their calls for help because we don’t know what to say. By spreading the essential tools to prevent suicide, hopefully we can prevent people from ignoring others warning signs just because they do not know how to help. Before death caused by suicide works it way up into the top leading causes of death, we need to take a stand to fight against the silent killer and eliminate the deaths caused by suicide each year.
Andy Hull’s Sunshine Foundation | You Matter. (N.d.). Retrieved from
Caruso, K. (n.d.). Suicide Causes. Suicide.org. Suicide Causes. Suicide.org. Suicide
Causes. Suicide.org. Retrieved from http://www.suicide.org/suicide-causes.html
SAVE’s upcoming events: (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2014, from
Jacob Scholl did a presentation at Biola University in LA. And he reported that it went well. He had a lot of people walk up to him and tell him that they really appreciated the presentation because they’ve been affected by suicide personally or within their family.