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Shannon Ortiz


Shannon is the Founder and President of Light after Loss. Shannon lost her husband, Craig, to suicide on August 3, 2016, leaving her and their two young girls behind. She was the Director of Counseling Services at The University of Mount Union and the President of NAMI Stark County at the time. She was no stranger to the struggles of mental health and suicide as it was something she helped people cope with every day. Despite that, the last thing she ever dreamed of was being on the other side of that coin. Craig had struggled with Bipolar Disorder for many years, but just like everyone else, she never thought he or she would become just another statistic; a number on someone’s chart. Through her own journey of grief and trauma, Shannon eventually stepped down from her position at both Mount Union and NAMI Stark County in order to heal; to help her two young daughters heal.

After being a counselor for nearly a decade, she also learned that the grief and trauma related to loss survivors are unique to only those who have experienced it. Survivors are at an increased risk of taking their own lives often due to unresolved emotions surrounding the unimaginable. Nearly a year after stepping away from her career and her job, she felt the need to turn pain into purpose. Light after Loss is a place where people can come to heal; and then come to help. The pain of suicide loss always remains, turning the pain into purpose makes it manageable. Everyone deserves to have the resources and support to heal. She wants to be a light for others; spreading hope for healing. Putting faces and stories of those left behind after suicide shows the world we are more than just a number.
We are #survivors. #bealight #lightafterloss #suicidelosssurvivors

Shannon Ortiz presenting at a Light After Loss event

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