September is National Suicide Prevention Month. As a suicide loss survivor, Lisa Carmoli, an Executive Assistant at Meridian Bank, works to share her family’s story of grief, love, and extreme support. In May 2019, Carmoli experienced a devastating loss after her brother, Mike, died by suicide.
Since his passing, she has become a prevention advocate and a pillar of the community at Meridian Bank.
“The day it happened, I felt like I was stripped to my core. It forces you to look into yourself. My brother struggled with many different issues throughout his life, but he was incredibly talented. He enjoyed techno and EDM music and produced songs, but despite this, he never really knew his own talent,” said Carmoli.
Sometimes people ask: were there any signs? Did you know it would come to this? The answer is not always concrete. Awareness and prevention can go a long way in helping those you love, but you can still miss some things, which is why Carmoli has dedicated her life to the remembrance of her brother and becoming an advocate.
A few months after losing her brother, she felt isolated and that there was no one to share the experience with until she joined a suicide loss survivor group. It was there she met people from all walks of life who had gone through similar losses.
“There were people just like me sitting in that room,” said Carmoli.
“There are more of us in the world than you would think. Just because something like that has happened to us, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of everything. These events, although tragic, become part of our story and we have the opportunity to change our own lives and the lives of others because of them.”
Carmoli spoke as a loss-survivor panelist in March of 2021 for Suicide Prevention Alliance, and at the 2022 Suicide Prevention Alliance Capitol Day at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg. She shared her story of loss and the impact that her brother’s death had on her family. She aims to normalize conversations around mental health and suicide.
From the moment Meridian Bank learned of Carmoli’s loss, those at the bank rallied around her, with some even sharing their own stories about mental health. From the get-go there was an outpouring of support for her and her family.
“The support of the team here at Meridian is unique. It’s not just for me, it’s for anyone here, because we get behind each other no matter what. It makes Meridian a very special place,” she said.
Meridian has become a sponsor of Philadelphia’s Out of Darkness Walk, a fundraiser by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Through these walks, those affected by suicide – and those who support them – raise awareness and funds, in addition to sending the message that suicide is preventable and that no one is alone.
“Your story doesn’t stop because of loss. There are some days where I find it harder to go on, but then I remember there’s always something to be grateful for that gives me the hope to carry on,” said Carmoli.
Learn more at Meridian Bank.