Rob's Kids Raise Awareness for Suicide Prevention - Cincinnati Children's Blog

Rob’s Kids Raise Awareness for Suicide Prevention

On March 30, 2008, my son-in-law, Rob, took his own life.  We were celebrating my granddaughter’s 10th birthday when the call came in.  Rob left his 2 little girls, his wife and the rest of his family that day….That was the beginning of our family story.

Little does a person know the impact that suicide will have many years later, 2 ½ years as a matter of fact.  In October of 2010, my granddaughter, Sam, thought about committing suicide and then again in March of 2011.

Here’s how she puts it: I am Sam. I am a survivor. I suffer from Depression and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I am a patient at Cincinnati Children’s. On March 30, 2008 my Dad took his own life leaving behind the survivors: me, my sister, my mom, his parents, his brother and many more family and friends. In October 2010, I became very depressed and thought about taking my own life too. My mom did the right thing and took me to the emergency department at Cincinnati Children’s where I was admitted and spent a week in the mental health unit. In March 2011, I became very depressed again and spent another week in the hospital. There, I met other kids like me. I attended the psychiatric partial hospitalization program. Now I see a counselor and take medicine. Without the help from the doctors, nurses and counselors at Children’s, I might have made the same mistake my dad made. I am Sam. I am a survivor.

After suffering at the hand of someone else’s decision, Sam is learning how to live with and overcome depression and PTSD. She takes medication and knows her limits.

We miss Rob every day, but our family is focusing on the positive. Sam, her sister Emma and family have chosen to allow Sam’s story to inspire us and drive us to help other families. We want to save lives!

Our family founded the organization Rob’s Kids in 2011 to make a difference in the lives of children who struggle with depression and PTSD by providing funding and sponsorship to psychiatric professionals and institutions and providing resources and education to families.

Sam’s first big goal is to donate $10,000 to Cincinnati Walks for Kids – the annual walk benefitting Cincinnati Children’s. She’s already nearly reached that goal and the walk isn’t until October!

In September  2012, Sam is entering high school, raising money to support the mental health program at Cincinnati Children’s, she marches in the band, she is active in her church and she’s become a polished public speaker.

She is Sam. She is a survivor.

She takes every opportunity to share her story and raise awareness of the necessity of funding for pediatric mental health programs. At the ripe old age of 14, Sam is a polished speaker and passionate advocate for herself and kids like her.

I will be walking proudly next to my granddaughter at Cincinnati Walks for Kids on October, 20th. Sam has also invited the doctors and staff in psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s to join our team. We’re all walking together for Rob’s Kids! We are still forming our team and we’d love to have anyone who would like to join us. You can register online for the walk via our team page.

These past several years have been full of highs and lows for our family, but the discovery of Sam’s courage and dedication to this cause has turned out to be an amazing gift to all of us.

I am Stephanie Potter, Sam and Emma’s grandma, aka GMA.  Our lives changed dramatically after Rob’s death.  God gave me a vision when Sam came to me and told me that she wanted to help kids on a grand scale.  We put together a plan and talked openly to all of our friends and family.

Rob’s Kids, Inc. is my passion and Rob’s Kids (Sam & Emma) are my passion.  As you can imagine there isn’t anything that I wouldn’t do to help my family overcome the hurdles that they sometimes are faced with.

We have a large goal…Rob’s Kids would like to own a building in a few years.  We want to provide a safe place for kids who struggle every day.  Emma put it like this, “Our building would be a home away from home where kids can find a friend, and a future.”

During National Suicide Prevention Awareness week and throughout the year, all of us at Rob’s Kids encourage you to learn what you can about depression, PTSD and recognizing the signs that someone is considering ending their own life. Help is available and we’d like everyone to know where to find it.


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Stephanie Potter

About the Author: Stephanie Potter

Stephanie is Sam and Emma’s GMA and Executive Director of Rob’s Kids, Inc. Rob’s kids are her passion and Rob’s Kids, Inc. is her passion. She and her family, friends and colleagues, work diligently to accomplish their mission of making a difference in the lives of children who struggle with depression and PTSD. Without all of the support from those around her, it would be an impossible task. Stephanie loves people and serving the community. She started at a young age as a Candy Stripe Helper at the local hospitals. Throughout the years she has served in Girl Scouting, volunteering at schools, local women's ministry and serving in leadership roles in many business organizations. She was recently selected as Citizen of the Year by the Florence Rotary for her continued service in the community. She was quoted as saying "God gave me a heart to serve and many opportunities to do so." Stephanie serves her family in every need they have. From Wife, Mom and Grandma, her commitment to her family is first. The healing that Rob's Kids has provided to many is the driving force behind it's success. Stephanie will continue to serve as Executive Director until Sam and Emma are ready to take over. Rob's Kids is keeping the legacy of their Dad alive and the services Rob's Kids will be able to provide will save other lives as well.

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  1. Karen Veneris September 11, 19:37
    You are truly awesome. Rob'Kids...I can't find the words. It is healing for me. The little I do for Rob's Kids is helping me heal the trauma of my life. Thank you! Love you....Karen
  2. Ken Prost September 12, 07:36
    An inspiring story and a tremendous organization created from the devastation of personal tragedy to bring assistance to others in need.
  3. Kate Ringo September 12, 11:25
    Amazing. Your story always brings tears to my eyes. This is an amazing organization, and I can't wait to walk with you guys in October!
  4. Nancy Miller September 12, 12:52
    Thank you for sharing your story..being strong and speaking out is so helpful to others. Sam is amazing!
  5. Lisa Jones September 12, 16:11
    What a difference you and your family are already making to so many! Just hearing your story is truly inspirational on so many levels; and as you say you never know the impact just hearing your story may make. AND: forming Rob's Kids is taking action which will bring the influence to a whole new level. You and your family are quite remarkable.
  6. Larry McNabb September 14, 08:27
    Your blog about the heartbreak of your family after the completed suicide of your son-in-law is a touching testimony of how the survivors of the suicide are struggling with his death. I am a QPR Gatekeeper Trainer and I pray that your message through this blog and public speaking will educate and open the hearts of our community to the reality of suicide. We cannot be silent anymore! We are losing many family, friends, children, adults, students and leaders to this tragedy that can be prevented in many cases. I, too have had people in my life and community that decided to end their live and leave those left behind wondering "Why" and "Could I have done something to stopped it"? Keep up the good fight with Rob's Kids! Hopefully, one day I will be able to hear you speak your message of hope in the community. God bless you and your family!
  7. Kennedy Morin September 18, 18:54
    Hey best friend. So proud of you. I love you and can't wait till the walk!
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  15. Patti June 09, 11:02
    I read your story. I am helping a family who lost their 15 yr. old son on January 17th, 2014 to suicide. To see this horrible sadness and feeling of emptiness in their home has been very painful. I have started a small group in our community to help spread awareness in suicide. Knowing the signs of depression, things parents can do, friends can do and school can do to reach out and help prevent someone taking their own life. Caleb showed signs, but know one knew those were sign of suicide. After emailing, meeting, emailing and meeting several times with school admin I finally got them to agree to allow an assembly for our students to hear and learn about suicide awareness. October 7, 2014 they are allowing me, a parent who cares about every child, they are finally allowing me to arrange an assembly for grades 7 thru 12. I have 2 moms who are going to speak about loosing a loved to suicide, I have a mom who was depressed her teen years...I am looking for a male who could come and speak as well. Would you be interested? Again, I am only a mom who cares and want to see awareness, prevention, give kids and parents a plan. Please let me know if you are willing to help our community with spreading the awareness so we can prevent another life. Thank you. Patti