Despite living in the most prosperous period of history, millions of people are struggling. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and it’s the second leading cause of death for college-age youth. Suicide often stems from past mental trauma and depression caused by bullying, mistreatment, and other challenging events. Nearly 50 years ago, my mom, Ethel Hayes took her own life. A kind and courageous woman, she struggled to cope with the difficult realities of her inner and outer world. In the aftermath of her passing, I struggled to cope with the loss. Outside of the tragedy of losing my mom, I faced the reality that mental health was not well understood or openly discussed in the Black community. So I suppressed my feelings, an approach that caused many challenges for me later in life. To help the millions of people and their loved ones who are suffering, we need to start by bringing the darkness to light. In doing so, it will slowly fade. In honor of my wonderful mother, the Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship exists to support more open and honest dialogue about the millions of people who are struggling with mental health and those people who have loved ones who are struggling with mental health.