Struggling with her own depression and self injury, Brittny Jackson created a Myspace group to connect with other teens struggling with the same issues. The group was titled How To Save A Life based on the ideals behind The Fray’s song of the same title. In it’s first week, the group grew to over 100 members who would share their personal stories, song lyrics, poetry, artwork, encouraging words, etc.
She wanted the group to extend beyond Myspace. In May of 2008, she gathered three local bands together in Mobile, AL for a night of music and honest conversation. This is where the journey began…
After reading a startling statistic that 4 out of 5 teens who attempt suicide give clear warning signs, Brittny became painfully aware of just how important awareness was. It was then that the name of the community was changed to Open Our Eyes. She organized awareness shows throughout the southeast for the remainder of that year. Each show had the same format: three local bands, a representative from Open Our Eyes to share their story, and an open forum for anyone that was willing to share their story that night.
Today Open Our Eyes hosts these shows once a month throughout the country. We also start tough conversations at schools, churches, and other youth groups, particularly within minority communities. Our goal is to educate others on the severity of brokenness especially among teens, the warning signs which indicate a person is at risk and the resources available to reduce that risk. We do not aim to take the place of a medical professional. We aim to serve as a bridge to connect people with the help they need. We also raise financial support for efforts to help those dealing with suicide, depression and addiction.