*Warning. This story mentions death by suicide involving a young person.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — After the unimaginable loss of her daughter, one woman is spreading awareness to make sure no family loses their children to suicide.
Taylor Rae Nolan, 19, was a University of Kentucky sophomore. On the outside, she seemed like she had everything going for her. She was an All-American girl who was bright, a talented artist, and a good friend to everyone.
Her family describes her as the type of person who could climb trees and ride four wheelers and then put on a frilly dress and be girly. She liked to paint and sew, and she was quite the storyteller. Nolan loved clothes and packing a perfect wardrobe to take with her to UK had become a tradition.
At UK, she had majored in Integrated Strategic Communications and Digital Media and Design and had an internship that she loved at iHeart Radio. She lived in the Chi Omega house.
“It did not matter where you came, from who your parents were, what part of the world you live in, what religion, she was that person who loved everyone,” said her mother, Taylora Schlosser.
Nolan had opportunity and potential.
On the inside, she struggled. But Nolan was open with those struggles with her mental health.
Schlosser said that she thought they were doing everything right. Nolan was seeing a therapist.
Her mother said that at no point did they think Nolan was suicidal.
After a serious bout with meningitis during the Christmas break, Nolan returned to UK’s campus. Schlosser said that soon after, on Jan. 8, 2019, she got a knock on her door. She was told that her daughter, her ray of sunshine, had died by suicide.
“I don’t think I’m ever gonna get through grief, but I need to figure out how to turn our hurt into hope,” said Schlosser.
She wants to make sure that her daughter’s story does not end, so she created The Rae of Sunshine Foundation.
Through the foundation, Schlosser is travelling the state to talk about mental health and suicide.
“You have a story as well, your story is important, and what can you do to change other people’s story,” she said.
The goal of The Rae of Sunshine Foundation is to partner with schools, churches, institutions, and groups to provide support and training to help those struggling with mental illness. The logo for the foundation is a sun, with streaks of yellow curls, just like her hair, radiating from it.
You can visit The Rae of Sunshine Foundation website to order gear with the logo on it. You can also donate to help Nolan’s family spread “raes” of sunshine. Click here for more information.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or ideations, you can call the 24-hour Bluegrass Help Line at 800-928-8000 or you can call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 800-273-8225.
For more resources, including if you are deaf/hard of hearing, click here.
Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio – 888-628-9454.