An Inside Look at Mental Health with guest Jill Turbak

An Inside Look at Mental Health with guest Jill Turbak

October 8, 2018

Beauty Queen, Jill Turbak, has struggled with anxiety and depression since she was young. She attempted suicide at age 13 and since becoming Mrs. South Dakota International, she has taken on a subject that is very important to me - mental health. She is lifting the shame stigma on talking, reaching, and equipping us to better understand the trouble of those suffering. 

Jill started “A Different Kind of Lifeguard” which is a mental health awareness and suicide prevention advocacy organization that works to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, self-injury, and suicide. The name was chosen as a way to help others recognize those who are struggling to stay afloat in everyday life. 

Jill’s organization launched the “I WILL NOT GIVE UP” suicide prevention campaign and she designed cards to give out as a reminder and a way to encourage. The design is very intentional and meant to make a statement. 

On the card, Jill used all caps because she wanted these words to be spoken BOLDLY. For too long, we have discussed mental illness, self-injury, and suicide in a hushed and hidden way, and it is the mission of A Different Kind of Lifeguard to destroy that stigma. 

The blue watercolor is meant to look like an ocean or body of water because Jill started A Different Kind of Lifeguard as a way to help others recognize those who are struggling to stay afloat in every day life. Notice how the words are balanced just above the “water”. Empowering those who struggle to do what they need to in order to keep swimming through life is important to us.

The box is one of support, a way to hold others and surround them with what they need to not give up.

A Few Suicide Statistics:
22 – average number of veterans lost to suicide every day.
44 – average number of farmers lost to suicide every day.
123 – average number of suicides per day.
800,000 – average number of recorded deaths by suicide per year.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text “TALK” to 741741 or visit for additional resources. If you are in South Dakota, you can call 211. These services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential.

If someone you know is hurting, as them “Are you having suicidal thoughts?” If they say yes, ask them WHY… then listen. Hear them out and let them list their reasons. Validate their feelings and then point out reasons for living but make sure they feel heard. Then reach out to the resources above together!

You can follow Jill on Facebook and Instagram and follow her organization “A Different Kind of Lifeguard” on Facebook also!

To purchase a Philip Bag (named in honor of my brother who died from suicide), click here and $10 of every sale will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. For more about Philip, read my blog post here.

We got this Encouragers!