Following the tragic passing of Jim Puggi in March 2018, his wife and daughter, Lisa and Morgan, were approached by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) with an overwhelming amount of love and support. They would go on to meet a community of fellow suicide loss survivors who would change their lives forever. When registering for their first “Community Walk” in Philadelphia, it was only fitting to name their group of walkers “Team Puggi”. Everything started out as just that – the registered group of family and friend walkers in honor of Jim. Now, we are proud to say that we are an official non-profit organization that has a network of support from business sponsors, donors, and fellow mental health advocates all with the common goal of suicide prevention and awareness.
We are excited to have transformed into an organization that inspires the tough conversations. If we want to combat this stigma, these conversations need to be had. This is the straightforward approach Jim would want, no tiptoeing around anything. Change comes from the uncomfortable. While no one in Team Puggi may look the same, we all have personally struggled, experienced a suicide loss, or are the support for a loved one who has or currently struggles. Mental health, depression, and suicide hits home for everyone.
Jim’s legacy lives on through each of us. We will continue to walk for Jim every year, at the Community Walk, where it all began. Team Puggi is more than giving a donation. We are a community that holds a reputation for being brave against the stigma of society and speaks up to help each other. That’s simply what a team does.