Vanessa Johnson has busy a life. She is a wife, the mother to five children and the grandmother of 11. Through it all, she is also the owner and operator of Blue Moon 211, Inc.
Blue Moon 211’s mission is to help prevent suicide through public awareness, education and motivation. Blue Moon 211 also strives to be a leading resource center for those in need.
Vanessa is a graduate of Tampa Bay Technical-Vocational High School and the University of Tampa. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology as well as Sociology. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Christian Counseling from Grand Canyon University.
Vanessa currently holds certifications in cosmetology, life insurance, photography and as a travel agent. She is also pre-licensed in real estate. She was trained in suicide prevention and bullying through Bay Care Behavioral Health, USF Suicide Prevention, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Sun Coast Yellow Ribbon. She is also certified in Mental Health First Aid.
Vanessa escaped the darkness of an abusive relationship. A sense of urgency overcame her and she prayed. Her blessing was to create Blue Moon, Inc. She is a woman who is passionate about saving the lives of those who have no hope and feel lost. The vision of the organization is to reach out to communities through determination and dedication to help save lives, while inspiring peace and making a difference in the world.
I sat down and interviewed this fascinating woman. I wanted to help her spread the word about Blue Moon 211 and help prevent suicide.
The Lyfe Magazine Interview
The Lyfe Magazine: How did you get the motivation to start Blue Moon Inc?
Vanessa Johnson: I have a personal stake in this issue. In January 2013, I read an article about a young man who took his life. He lived in Seattle, Washington. The article explained how he took his life, believing there was no help available for him. He gave up. God placed this vision in my life to carry out his mission. If I can reach one soul, I will have touched many souls.
The Lyfe Magazine: Tell the readers about the young man’s letter.
Vanessa Johnson: The letter he left behind touched my spirit when he wrote “God, please forgive me!” I heard that cry too many times before. Our children are taking their lives because they feel there is no hope for tomorrow. They feel all faith is gone. No pain is greater for a family or community than the loss of loved ones due to suicide. In addition, no loss is more tragic than the loss of a life, due to hopelessness and despair.
The Lyfe Magazine: Tell our readers your experience with abuse.
Vanessa Johnson: My abuse lead me into a path of darkness. I wanted to sleep the pain away. I felt this was my only escape because the abuse was non-stop. I cried out, to no avail, my cries went unheard. I fought, yet, my injuries worsened. I wanted peace, within myself. I did not want my children to see the aftermath of my pain.
However, through it all, by the grace of God, I recovered, escaped and moved on to a better life. Saved by God’s grace, my experience is now my testimony. My pain is now my gain. I am a witness, from ashes to beauty. I stand firm on the promises of God so that I may help others escape down their narrow path of darkness.
The Lyfe Magazine: Tell our readers about your recent projects.
Vanessa Johnson: The most recent project we accomplished was to help deliver items to Flint Michigan in June 2016. We’re currently working on fundraising for donations towards college scholarships for high school graduates in the Tampa Bay area. We are working on this project with the Sport Kids Foundation.
The Lyfe Magazine: What do you feel are some of your significant accomplishments?
Vanessa Johnson: My most significant accomplish was my opportunity to visit Washington D.C in 2014 and 2015. I spoke with members of Congress and the Senate on suicide prevention. I also had a chance to travel to Tallahassee, Florida in March of 2015, January of 2016 and April of this year to do the same. Lastly, I visited the Atlanta, Georgia State Capitol in March to speak with members of the Legislator on suicide awareness/prevention.
The Lyfe Magazine: What are some of your career goals?
Vanessa Johnson: My main goal is to continue my studies. I will start a doctorate program at Grand Canyon University, majoring in Educational Leadership Management with an emphasis in Business.
The Lyfe Magazine: What’s going on for Blue Moon 211 in the next few months?
Vanessa Johnson: Blue Moon 211 has started a campaign to help those who are suffering from despair. We are targeting the age group of 24-34 to help them recognize the warning signs of suicide. We are encouraging them to partner with a buddy to help find peace.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in this age group. Our college students are overwhelmed and dropping out of school because of the pressure. “Together We Can” is going to bring awareness. Recently we spoke with the Florida Legislature to increase funding for counseling on school campuses. We’re now taking it to the world. We need to preserve our youth at all costs and we will not stop until our voices bring forth a change for our future generations. We’re losing to this silent killer at an alarming rate. Since 2015 over 44,000 have lost their lives to suicide.
The Lyfe Magazine: How do you find time to be a wife, mother and grandmother?
Vanessa Johnson: I have learned to balance my life with taking care of my family in sequences. I have quality time with my husband, phone calls regularly with my children and grandma loves the babies. I spend time with all the girls, then I get the boys. Sometimes I get everyone together and we laugh, play and enjoy each other. I also, find time to seek my inner peace so that I may continue to serve others. Self-care is very important.