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Camo Hat Club™

Camo Hat Club™

Camo Hat Club™ Rules

  • Guys hate rules, so these are now called guidelines.

Camo Hat Club™ Guidelines

  • Keep it simple. This is just an excuse to get together, eat, and be guys.
  • Open up the meal with one inspirational quote. One person is in charge of bringing the quote of the day, and then everyone just eats and talks.
  • Be consistent. Pick a day, a time, and a place that works and stick to it. Some days everyone will show up, but other days life will get in the way and only a couple of guys will show up. No worries!
  • Keep it going. My group meets the first Thursday of every month, and we typically send out a text that week as a reminder. Not hard!
  • Ask everyone: How is your mental health?

 The Why

  • 78% of all completed suicides are men.
  • As we get older, we lose friends… we just do.
  • Loneliness kills. People with connected networks live longer.

The Purple File

At age 52, I felt like a complete failure. My marriage was dissolving, I sucked at my sales job, and every financial opportunity seemed to slip away. Then I spoke at a fundraiser for suicide prevention, because I lost two brothers to suicide eleven years apart. It hurts to type that sentence. It was even more painful to speak about it. But people responded well to my talk, and invitations started arriving for me to do it again. Delivering this talk seemed to be the only thing I was good at. So, against my will, I became a keynote speaker on a really tough topic.

The talk drove me to start a foundation dedicated to suicide prevention, called the Half a Sorrow Foundation, which I now run. The name comes from the old Swedish proverb, “A shared joy is a double joy, a shared sorrow is half a sorrow.” We are all our own harshest critics and I often have days where the toll of the work I do has me thinking of packing it all in and returning to a “normal” job if there is such a thing.

It is during these time that I reach for the purple file.

The purple file is where I keep feedback from my talk. I speak to many, hoping to reach one, and judging by this feedback, some folks were listening. They often reach out to me via social media, sometimes years after they hear me talk, and I am always touched. I print their messages out and stuff them in this file. Heck, some of these people made me cry. The one that really hit home was, “After hearing you speak, I feel normal again.”

Whenever I think about quitting, I grab the file and come back with a renewed determination. Do you have a similar file? Somewhere you could put a cherished testimonial, comment, feedback, or kind note from a coworker. Something to lift your spirits and remind you why you so what you do? I recommend it.

I would have quit this suicide prevention gig years ago if not for this file and the cherished feedback it contains. What I do (and what you do) is not easy, but the purple file keeps me going — because it is the people behind those comments that keep me going. As it turns out, I do not suck at sales. I just needed an excellent product to sell, and that product is hope.

Purple File

VRWP
Virtual Reunions With a Purpose

Brand new program that we are so excited to offer. Here’s how it works.

  • You pull together a friend list complete with emails!
  • Our Foundation sets the meeting up on ZOOM!
  • You are the co-host!
  • Dennis comes on and does a quick talk on mental health!
  • He then leaves and the call is yours for the rest of the 90 minutes–free!

We beta tested this and the participants said the conversations were awesome!

Let’s do one—send us an email at dennis@halfasorrow.org to set one up!