The Big O Foundation
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Welcome – we’re so glad you found our website!
We created The Big O Foundation to honor the life of our son, Owen Eugene Skelley who passed away on March 3, 2022. Our foundation aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and provide support to individuals wherever we can. We encourage you to get involved, make a donation, or volunteer. Any contribution of money or your time is most welcome and needed.
Owen Eugene Skelley
Owen was a young man full of life, love, and generosity. His love of sports especially baseball and football were very important and rewarding to him. He was always striving to get better and a dedicated team player. He could always pick someone up when they were feeling down regardless of the situation or mood he was in. Improving and building up others was his highest priority.
Owen loved his family and friends unconditionally. He was always happy, helpful, and asking how we were doing. He was never ashamed to say, “I love you” or “you doing ok”? He meant what he said and was sincerely concerned about others wellbeing. He was the complete opposite of selfish. His smile and personality could light up a room and he was a magnet for new friendships.
Every time he joined a new sports team, he would leave the same day with multiple new friends/ relationships. He loved his two dogs Daisy and Donald (he called him Aaron). Owen would give others nicknames that made no sense.
988National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. While some areas may be currently able to connect to the Lifeline by dialing 988, this dialing code will be available to everyone across the United States starting on July 16, 2022.
When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.
The Lifeline’s network of over 200 crisis centers has been in operation since 2005, and has been proven to be effective. It’s the counselors at these local crisis centers who answer the contacts the Lifeline receives every day. Numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor.
Mental Health ConcernsAnd Suicide Awareness
First and foremost, it’s important to get the facts. There is no shortage of news stories about mental health and suicide. In fact, it seems like every day there is a new headline about a person who died from a suicide attempt. While this is a serious issue, there are plenty of resources and support that can be tapped into to help.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) provides resources to anyone looking to help someone who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts or who has attempted suicide.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a large network of local and state-level chapters that are eager to assist those in need.
There are countless other organizations that can help. You can also find support through online communities.
Here are some things you can do to get involved.
• Show your support for those affected by mental health issues by wearing purple, the color of mental health awareness.
• Raise awareness by sharing and tagging #purplematters on social media.
• Start a conversation about mental health by asking someone if they are okay. It might not seem like much, but it can mean the world to someone who is struggling.
• Take a mental health day to recharge your batteries and take a moment to focus on yourself.
• Reach out to someone who is dealing with a mental health issue and ask if there is anything you can do to help.
• Volunteer for an organization like The Big O Foundation that works to raise awareness about mental health and get connected with people who are working on the issue.
Mental Health Resourcesclick on any of the logos to learn more
SAVE THE DATE! SUNDAY, AUGUST 20th from 2-5 pm at the Coralville Performing Arts Center.
The Big O Foundation is hosting speaker Emma Benoit:
Emma's story - A suicide attempt left 16-year-old varsity cheerleader, Emma Benoit, paralyzed, but propelled her on a mission to use her painful experience to help others find hope and stay alive.
MY ASCENSION is a feature length documentary that chronicles Emma's inspiring journey and quest to walk again, as she works to bring Hope Squad, a school-based suicide prevention program, to Louisiana.
The film also highlights the stories of two remarkable young people who tragically did not survive their attempts, and we learn first-hand from their families, friends, school officials and suicide prevention experts about the devastating effects of suicide and what can be done to prevent it.