When Scott Moody ’91 saw Lynn Luckey ’93 jumping on a bed in a CofC dorm suite, it was love at first sight – at least for him. For Luckey, an avid member of the equestrian club, not so much. She ignored Moody’s attention for two years before finally agreeing to a date after he graduated.
“I guess I finally wore her down,” chuckles Moody. They married in 1994 and together lived a full and vibrant life. Sadly, in 2019, Lynn lost her battle with mental distress and chronic illness when she took her life. She left behind many who loved her, including the couple’s children, Elizabeth and Marshall, and the many people who benefited from her talent and passion as an educator, counselor and friend.
“As a society, we tend to view the topic of suicide as taboo, but for Lynn mental health and suicide prevention was a passion,” says Moody. “She understood the struggle of mental issues and had an amazing ability to sense when students and others were experiencing mental health concerns. Knowing her own struggles, Lynn was able to relate and help in a safe and compassionate manner.”
To keep Lynn’s memory alive, her family created the Lynn L. Moody Endowment for Mental Health and Suicide Awareness, which supports programming to help members of the CofC community recognize the signs of distress, know the resources available and seek the support they need.
“My feeling is, when someone gets to the point of planning to commit suicide, they generally don’t seek help,” says Moody. “That’s why it is so important to intervene early and reassure people it’s OK to ask for help, as well as teach others to see the signs of mental distress so assistance can be provided.”
After experiencing their own personal losses as well as the losses in their friends’ worlds, CofC parents Richard and Gabi Rosenblum understand how essential it is that every person has access to help.
“Nobody should ever feel alone or that there is no way out of a darkness they find themselves in,” says Gabi, who supports the endowment together with her husband. “Mental health awareness and the ability to receive help and support is crucial, and even more so during these times of unrest as we all try to find some sense of balance in our world.”
Brett Hammes, Moody’s college roommate and another supporter of the endowment, knows the pull of suicide all too well. When he hit a rough patch after a breakup in high school, he was barreling down the road ready to crash, before he stopped short with the realization of the weight and guilt this would lay on his family.
“You don’t want to see the family left behind go through the trauma of a suicide,” says Hammes. “We need to make sure that we are there to help people be all they can be – emotionally, spiritually and physically. We want to help them be in a place to achieve their goals and dreams.”
While Lynn is not here to continue her work with those struggling with mental distress, her legacy lives on because of the advocacy and support of Moody, his children, the Rosenblums, Hammes and donors yet to come forward who want to make a difference in the College of Charleston community.
How to Help
A Healthy Minds Study found that students considering suicide were most likely to get help when encouraged to do so, believed in the efficacy of support, were aware of available services and knew how to use them, and didn’t have personal stigma associated with mental health treatment.