ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa Bay Rays held a special tribute for the late Jean Ramirez before Sunday’s game in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.
The former bullpen catcher died by suicide back in January.
“We need to end the stigma so people can feel comfortable about speaking about their struggles,” said Antonia Ramirez, Jean’s mother.
Their family is on a mission to let people know they don’t have to suffer in silence.
“It’s also about raising awareness for everybody. One life we can save by creating and raising that awareness,” Jean’s father Carlos Ramirez said.
One in five people experiences a mental illness, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness.
“Suicide was an epidemic before the pandemic and so much so now. It is one of the biggest public health issues that’s 100% preventable,” said Clara Reynolds with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
Reynolds said she wants to remind everyone there are people out here who care.
“Either they can call 211, the national suicide hotline and find the resources they need. The world’s not better off without you. We need you here.”
If you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of suicide, the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay can be reached by dialing 211. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached at 800-273-8255.