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TWLOHA founder visits campus
By Jacob Abrahamson–
Non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) brought its message to U of L students on March 26. Founder Jamie Tworkowski sat down with the Cardinal to share the story of TWLOHA and discuss what kind of work it does.
“It started as an attempt to tell a story and a way to help a friend in 2006,” explained Tworkowski. “My friend was dealing with drug addiction, depression, self-injury and suicide and, eight years later, these are the issues we still focus on.”
The organization, based in Melbourne, Fla., spreads information about suicide prevention among places such as conferences, concerts and college campuses.
“We try to move people to know that it’s okay to be honest and know that it’s okay to ask for help,” says Tworkowski. “We also invest in treatment and counseling.”
Nashville songwriter Steven McMorran, of the band Satellite, performed a five-song acoustic set before Tworkowski spoke, showing that the organization values music. Endorsements from various bands such as Switchfoot and Paramore have contributed to the popularity of the organization among young people.
“[Music] is literally how people found out,” said Tworkowski about music’s role in the organization’s growth. “We think we share a lot of common ground with music because it’s allowed to be honest and it’s allowed to ask questions.”
He also desired to make clear to the audience that the issues TWLOHA deal with are not limited to just young people.
“These are issues that affect people of all ages. We love hearing from young people, but we also hear from parents and grandparents.”
He asked those in the room who had been affected by one of these issues or knew someone who had to raise their hand. Nearly everyone in the room raised their hand.
In a Q & A period, Tworkowski asked students what services were available to them at U of L. A Counseling Center representative explained what kinds of free services are offered on campus.
“You saved my life,” said one student.
The evening came to its conclusion with Tworkowski’s request a favor from those in attendance. He asked that students in attendance help him film a message for a young friend of his who was a Louisville fan, which students happily complied with.
As far as the future of TWLOHA goes, Tworkowski was optimistic about things that are on the horizon.
“There’s a film coming out in the fall,” he said. “Day One,” a film starring Kat Dennings and Chad Michael Murray, will tell the story of how TWLOHA began.
“We’ll continue to be creative about how we go about presenting this message.”
Photo by Jacob Abrahamson/Louisville Cardinal