After losing his father to suicide at age six, Jacob grew up plagued by debilitating anxiety and depression. Ashamed, he became an expert at hiding his mental illness from those closest to him for over 20 years. This practice cost Jacob countless jobs, numerous relationships, his home and very nearly his life. Having hit rock bottom, he no longer cared if he lived or died.
With the help of family and peer supporters, Jake finally found the tools he needed to take ownership of his mental health. Understanding the positive role of peer support in his journey, Jacob created NoStigmas as a place where people could connect, share their story and learn about mental health without feeling alone or ashamed. The community grew and in 2011, NoStigmas became recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity.
Jacob is a mental health speaker and writes on the topics of mental wellness, suicide prevention, stigmas, peer mentorship, holistic health, and the business of starting a nonprofit. He splits his time between Chicago and Los Angeles.