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Louisville artist turns trauma into an outlet and outreach for his community

Published: May. 11, 2021 at 4:48 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE)- After his two friends died next to him in a car crash, a Louisville artist who goes by the name FAIF thought he’d never make it through. He had to learn how to walk again, fell into a depression, had suicidal thoughts and to this day still battles with PTSD. Now he’s using his struggles to help others.

Not everyone shows it or speaks about it, but life, tragedy and trauma can impact your mental health.

“My journey began as FAIF back in 2014,” FAIF said.

In 2014, FAIF was the only survivor of a car crash that killed his best friend, Kerry Bensen, 24, a former University of Kentucky basketball player, and Bensen’s girlfriend, Germina Cruz, 23, a dancer for the 2014 Lady Xtreme Dance Team.

“It was just really a battle with trauma,” FAIF said. “I didn’t understand what it was but I learned you can’t sit in a room of darkness you have to find light.”

FAIF wants others struggling to find peace to find their light, he found his in music. To help guide others he teamed up with Mental Health Lou and the Pete Foundation to create events and conversation workshops all month long for mental health awareness month.

“People should not be ashamed to say I’m wanting help and I’m needing help,” FAIF said. “That’s what this conversation is helping to open up.”

For anyone struggling, FAIF said the hardest part may be saying something. He said from experience you need to give your feelings to someone else. Speaking is lifesaving.

“That’s what F.A.I.F stands for - For Anyone In Fear,” FAIF said. “It’s really rough and people don’t understand what we go through as people on a daily basis not just a music artist or entertainer I’m a person just like you. It’s really rough on days.”

On rough days you’ll find FAIF visiting Bensen’s resting site. FAIF’s reminder to keep going, keep living and helping others.

For mental health awareness month events, click here.

For more information on mental health support visit, FAIF’s Instagram - @faifofficial

If you are in a crisis below call the following number for support (NAMI Louisville)

24-Hour Crisis and Information Center Line:

  • 502-589-4313 or 1-800-221-0446
  • TDD: 502-589-4259 or 1-877-589-4259

OPTIONS FOR ASSISTANCE (NAMI Louisville cannot advise you on what is the best action to take)

  • Dial 911 and call police: If your loved one is mentally ill or psychotic and exhibiting symptoms that concern you, and is a danger to themselves or others, call 911 and ask for a CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) officer.
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK or 800-SUICIDE
  • NAMI Information Line: 800-950-NAMI (6264)

CRISIS AND SUICIDE

  • Girls & Boys Town National Hotline: (800) 448-3000
  • National Hopeline Network 800-SUICIDE: (800-784-2433)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • National Youth Crisis Hotline: 800-442-HOPE (4673)

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