036: LiFE of Hope with Deeatra Kajfosz

035: Elijah’s Journey and Other Approaches to Suicide Prevention with Efrem Epstein
November 2, 2017
037: Suicide Prevention in Kansas with Kristin Vernon
December 6, 2017

036: LiFE of Hope with Deeatra Kajfosz



Deeatra Kajfosz is an award-winning suicide awareness and prevention advocate, public speaker, and founder of LiFE OF HOPE, an organization responsible for a comprehensive approach to the prevention of suicide attempt and death. She reaches audiences with her story of hidden secrets, cycles of chronic major depression and anxiety, a near-fatal suicide attempt, and an unexpected twist toward acceptance, healing, and hope for others. Today, Deeatra dedicates her life to raising awareness, providing education, and supporting others. It is through her own life journey that her story connects with her audience in highly personal and inspiring ways. DeeatraK.com

Deeatra Kajfosz shares her incredible journey on the i’Mpossible Project #podcast!

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Time Stamped Notes

  • 3.11 In her early-twenties, Deeatra moved from Idaho to Wisconsin to escape her past that
    seemed “always there,” but what she was really dealing with was untreated mental illness and
    unhealthy coping skills
  • 4.14 In her mid-twenties, Deeatra was experiencing grief at losing her grandfather, facing
    homelessness, a second divorce, and felt like she was the biggest impediment to the lives of her
    two little boys; and attempted to take her own life
  • 4.35 Deeatra didn’t understand that she was in terrible emotional pain, and she hid her pain
    and her past for a very long time
  • 6.00 Part of Deeatra’s long-term recovery and healing includes helping other people, and in
    2015 she founded a non-profit LiFE of Hope to address gaps in suicide prevention
  • 9.15 Deeatra’s realization (in her mid-twenties) that things needed to change in her life was in
    the emergency room after she attempted suicide. She was acutely aware that she could die and
    was moved by the sense of urgency the medical staff had in treating her.
  • 10.35 While recovering Deeatra not only wanted to live and survive but thrive—have joy,
    connection, a sense of purpose and belonging
  • 11.42 A hallmark of Deeatra’s recovery was cultivating a support system
  • 12.20 It took Deeatra a bit of time to realize that she needed to consistently take her psychiatric
    medicine (and not stop taking it when she started feeling better)
  • 13.40 Deeatra dissolved her successful corporate business after a friend died by suicide, and she
    began her journey to start LiFE of Hope
  • 18.49 Deeatra believes that to give to one another, we first must give (and be good) to ourselves
  • 20.32 Deeatra believes it’s how we choose to respond to adversity that defines us
  • 20.45 Deeatra’s purpose has changed many times within the past sixteen years
  • 35.14 Deeatra’s least favorite word is “no,” Julia Roberts would play Deeatra if someone made a
    movie of her life, and her spirit animal is a dog (find out more fun facts about Deeatra in the
    Quick Fire Round).

Key Points

  • Many if not all who die by suicide feel that they don’t have a sense of purpose (could be
    seen as a risk factor and finding purpose could also be seen as prevention)
  • When treating/managing our mental health conditions (mental illness), it’s important
    that if we feel better we continue to do the things that got us to the place of feeling
    better
  • Multiple second chances exist for everyone, no matter how low we feel or how far we’ve
    fallen in life

Resources or Websites Mentioned

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If outside the U.S., here is a list of crisis lines around the world: www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres

Deeatra’s personal and speaking website is: www.deeatrak.com

The LiFE of Hope website is: www.lifeofhopeproject.org

Deeatra is an author in The i’Mpossible Project: Volume 2—Changing Minds, Breaking Stigma,
Achieving the Impossible: www.iampossibleproject.com/two

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