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Euclid man creates Facebook group to help 'silent sufferers'

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jan 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-04 17:26:42-05

EUCLID, Ohio — Many use the beginning of a new year as an opportunity to make changes in their lives, but one Euclid man is taking it a step further and helping others as well—all through the power of social media.

Frank Negolfka’s story is a tough one to listen to. But after years of staying silent and keeping his struggles to himself, he’s sharing them so other people know they’re not alone.

Negolfka’s dad died by suicide back in 1998 when he was just 14-years-old. He said his death was one of the main factors leading to his 20-year long battle with anxiety and depression.

It also caused him to neglect his body, putting him at 450-pounds at his heaviest.

In August 2019, Negolfka said he had a breakthrough and realized he had to make a change.

He started walking every day and changed his diet and has since lost 40 pounds.

Three weeks ago, he started a Facebook group called Silent Sufferers, hoping to create more awareness about depression and other mental health issues.

“Depression, anxiety, people are grieving. That’s who I want to help and I think it's something we need to be more comfortable talking about because you don’t realize it but everybody you know, somebody’s dealing with it,” Negolfka said. “So far, honestly it's been amazing. People just sending me messages, telling me how they feel, asking for help. You know you don’t realize how many people just hold this stuff in and just let it eat at them because if you talk about it, you’re considered weak.”

The group already has nearly four hundred members and Negolfka is hoping to organize an event to bring everyone together in person later this year.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.