We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelly Paris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelly, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my own business in order to help people who are struggling to know that they are not alone. To raise awareness for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health. I believe that it is OKAY not to be OKAY and that together we can make a difference.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started Break The Silence as a Suicide Awareness Festival in 2017. We use music as a platform to bring the community together to talk about the hard stuff. We believe that it is OKAY not to be OKAY and that together we can make a difference. We have been very blessed to be able to expand to a nonprofit. The support we have received since the very beginning has been amazing. It has not always been easy, at times it was a rough road. What kept me going was knowing that there are so many people out there who are struggling and not able to reach out. So many people suffer in silence. I wanted to be able to share my my story and experiences to show other people that they are not alone. I have learned that helping others helps me as much or more as it helps others. Over the last 5 years we have expanded and been able to become a fully functioning nonprofit 501 (c) 3 and are working very hard on opening up a free drop-in Mental Health Resource Center. We will offer free resource connections, support groups for all ages and walks of life starting at the middle school level as well as training for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. We are in the process of building assemblies to get into schools and talk to kids about the importance of Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Anti-Bullying. As our program expands we are able to help more people get access to life saving and changing resources.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take my best friends to Estes Park for a couple days to go horseback riding and hiking. We would stay at the Stanley Hotel. We would also take a tour of Downtown Denver, then see a show at Red Rocks. To end the trip we would stay a few days in Colorado Springs.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to thank everyone who has supported Break The Silence in the past and now. Community members, businesses, volunteers, participants and people from all over the US have come together to donate time and money to make this mission a reality.
Matt Jackson / Nine Stories Creative