TWLOHA paper

Submitted By herman1211
Words: 2045
Pages: 9

Mr. Davis 3A
[H] English 10
March 10, 2014 To Write Love on Her Arms “Depression: (N)- An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about himself or herself, and thinks about things. Depression is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with depression cannot merely 'pull themselves together' and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. (“Depression definition-depression symptoms, causes and treatments”) Many people think of depression as a mood, such as sadness or anger-it’s not. Depression, by definition, is a disorder and therefore a serious, real problem that does not go away easily like a bad mood. To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a benevolent organization that strives to educate about depression and other serious disorders, not only changes but saves lives by spreading education on mental, eating, and psychological disorders and presenting hope. Words such as suicide, cutting, and self harm may seem like situations out of a story or movie. Many realize that they are real, but don’t believe they will ever be affected by them. The truth is, very likely everyone knows someone who is or has been affected by one of those words. “More than 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide.” (SAMHSA) “14-24 percent of youth and young adults have self-injured at least once.” (“Self-Injury Outreach.”) Globally, there is one suicide about every 40 seconds. In the U.S., there is a suicide every 13.7 minutes. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.” (Mickintosh) As these statistics show, the above words do affect us more than one might first believe or wish. They take place very close to everyone. All forms of self harm including suicide are usually a result of a mental disorder, such as depression, anxiety, and even addiction. This organization not only realizes these statistics but is trying to help lower them. TWLOHA began as an attempt to help a friend (Renee Yohe) and simultaneously sparked an entire movement. Yohe existed as a troubled teenager who struggled with drug addictions and depression. Cocaine, alcohol and pills were a very hard habit to break for Yohe. In order to check into rehab, she had to remain sober for five days before entering the facility. Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of TWLOHA, was one of the friends who helped Yohe accomplish those five days. “Before they were able to get her into treatment, Yohe’s friends acted as her hospital, caring and praying for her in a time of need.”(Holman). Tworkowski documented these five days on a MySpace page as the beginning of a story known as To Write Love on Her Arms. “When Yohe finally entered treatment, her friends began selling t-shirts in order to pay for it. They started a MySpace page to ‘give the whole thing a home’” (Holman). More and more people began to buy the t-shirts and comment on the MySpace page, sharing their own stories and a movement began to take place. TWLOHA has gained influential power worldwide. “The noble effort of trying to help a friend in need has affected people worldwide” (Holman). Started in Florida, this organization has spread like wildfire throughout America and overseas to Europe and other countries. Although MySpace has lost its popularity, TWLOHA’s has a Facebook page with over one million fans, and 272K followers on twitter, both continuing to grow daily. TWLOHA has developed into one of the most successful non-profit organizations existing today. The influence and power comes largely from popularity gained at concerts and festivals. What better way to advertise an organization that unites people than at an event where people come to be united? “TWLOHA has grown into a national movement doing speaking tours and concerts all over the country and a yearly presence at festivals like warped tour” (Lloyd). Having famous