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Monday, July 15, 2024

2021 Capital Region Gives Back: Taylor Nichols, Suicide Survivor, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Nichols has used Instagram as a means to reach other people struggling with mental health issues.

This story is part of a larger feature on 10 do-gooders from Saratoga and the rest of the Capital Region. To meet the other nine honorees and purchase tickets for annual fundraising event, visit our Capital Region Gives Back event page.

The night before you graduate from college is often one fraught with emotional ambiguity. For Taylor Nichols, that’s the night he tried to take his own life.

Unbeknownst to his parents, Nichols had failed out, so he wouldn’t be walking with the rest of his class. Thankfully, that night, Nichols lived, as only one of every 25 people who attempt suicide do. After entering the hospital and a rehabilitation center, he began his long road back.

For Nichols, the process of healing has taken some unexpected forms. “When I posted my first [Instagram] post about suicide,” says Nichols,“the amount of people who reached out about going through similar things or had attempted it, floored me.” (He’s been actively posting about his experience since 2019.) Another important step was becoming a personal trainer at Metabolic. “It gave me a platform to connect with clients,” he says. “And it triggered me to open up even more.”

Nichols has also used his newfound power as a survivor to fundraise. For his last three birthdays, he has raised thousands of dollars on Facebook for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. “I’m realizing,” he says, “that not everyone opens up as freely as I do or expresses what they’re feeling as freely. I’m hoping that through telling my story, people with family members who don’t open up will understand a bit better what they’re going through.”

Will Levith
Will Levith
Will Levith is the editorial director of Capital Region Living and Saratoga Living.

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