The Rock for Life program was developed by James Ednie to help youth struggling with the challenges of life through the sharing of his music and personal story. James is a survivor of many years of self-hatred and suicidal feelings, as well as a serious suicide attempt as a youth. He shares his personal struggles and how he got through them with the help of music and a determination to never quit.
From his own experiences and extensive suicide prevention training, James speaks with his audience about how to successfully help themselves and others through a suicidal crisis. James has brought his Rock for Life program and its message of hope and triumph over personal tragedy to many schools and youth groups in Wyoming.
James believes that success and happiness are the best suicide prevention. In addition to teaching youth key suicide intervention and prevention skills, the Rock for Life program introduces youth to a concept called "Personal Alignment," the main points of which are to understand yourself, have a goal, welcome challenges, stop and think, and never quit no matter what. James sings and performs original rock songs that highlight the key teaching points of the presentation. These powerful songs are about struggling with life’s ups and downs, overcoming emotional challenges, and “celebrating sadness.”
For more information on the Rock for Life program, contact:
A Few Words from James
“Growing up on the streets of New York, I witnessed and experienced a lot of violence. I didn't have the tools to sort out what I felt or to deal with how it all affected me. As a teenager, people constantly asked me: ‘What's wrong with you?’ After awhile, through enough repetition and conditioning, I began to ask myself the same thing. High levels of frustration over a long period of time wore me down. I was intensely angry and sad as my life became more and more stressful. When I was at my lowest, I was tested the most. Though the pressure of my life seemed unbearable, I found my way through. And having survived, I left behind rivers of tears, a lot of broken walls, and more than a few close calls where I almost said goodbye forever.
“As I sit here now and look back on everything, I realize how precious life is. I knew it in my heart even as a kid -- I just didn't have the feelings to express it. Even though I have accomplished most of my lifelong goals, I know I am still a work in progress. A huge part of trying to make my life a masterpiece is to help young people who are going through the same desperate feelings that I had throughout much of my life. I often think how blessed I am that I never gave up and missed out on life's best experiences. My greatest hope is that others can learn from my life and my music, and can come through their darkest hour to see that life really is worth living.”
Click here to listen to James’ song, “All the Tears.”