THE VENT PROGRAM
BETWEEN TWO WORLDS
The VENT MISSION:
To assist in the emotional, physical and spiritual growth and wellbeing of those who are lost and need to find their inner strength.
The VENT Program is dedicated to Alex Tomei, whose story is best summarized in the words of his mother Laura.
“Born September 23, 1988 Alex died from suicide, on March 26, 2007. Like so many adolescents he encountered the many obstacles life brings, some of which he was unable to overcome. There are an increasing number of adolescents who are succumbing to emotional breakdowns, a sense of worthlessness which can lead to isolation, anger, drug use, and a myriad of other feelings.
Alex found something he was good at - his beloved gym, where he obtained enormous pleasure out of body building in an environment where he wasn't judged or dictated to. A place he could let out steam, and VENT his insecurities and frustrations, but at the same time see results, pass time, and meet like minded and even different people with a common interest; all in a positive environment where he felt a sense of belonging; an environment which he appreciated and respected, something that the broader community was unable to provide. He was finally getting his life in order, having started employment where he was working full time during the day and going to the gym in the evenings. At this time he was starting to rebuild his self-esteem, when the unexpected breakup of a relationship sent him into a downward spiral he was unable to cope with.
I have written a book about how I survived the suicide of my only child Alexander, in the hope that my grief journey, the insights and resources attained, can offer some comfort and hope to those suffering parental bereavement. One of the most precious resources that has helped me continue is the creation of the VENT Program. Honouring Alexander's life with a program that can help others, who like my son struggle to deal with life's challenges, has been cathartic for me. It is one of the major reasons I have been able to resurface from the depths of despair after the tragic passing of my only child, and it has enabled the continuation of what was very dear to my son, and what he believed in and practiced selflessly.
Since his passing, so many stories have emerged of people he has helped. His altruism and kindness, his sensitivities toward the suffering, misunderstood or disadvantaged were commendable.
The VENT Program has been created to honour Alex's 18 years of life, and in his memory and in his name, through the VENT Program, I will endeavour to continue what he believed in wholeheartedly; that kindness, compassion and caring is ultimately what we all need and strive for in life.”