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Salina man working to create mental health space following wife’s death

Jazzmyne Lee died by suicide in August. Her husband Ben said she struggled with depression and other mental health issues for a long time.
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 9:22 PM CST
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SALINA, Kan. (KWCH) - A Salina man is turning his late wife’s memory into a way to help others.

Jazzmyne Lee died by suicide last August. Now, her husband, Ben, is working to bring more mental health resources to the community.

“I enjoyed being around her all the time. Whether here, home, all that stuff,” said Ben.

They were bringing up their young family and running a restaurant, Bravo Sliders N Bites.

Ben said, “Partner in everything. Whether it was work-related, whether it was home-related, in all aspects, that was my partner.”

Ben said depression and mental health issues had been a long struggle for his wife.

After Jazzmyne’s death in August, Ben kept thinking about what he can do to provide others with support when intervention is needed

“She just needed other options, and I understand that. I understand that now,” he said.

Ben says what he’s envisioning complements traditional mental health resources, but provides another place where people can go. So, he’s working to set up a relaxation center. He describes it as a self-serve spa, a safe place to come when there’s a desire to getaway.

He said, “Place where you can do that. You’re not judged, you’re not being looked down upon because we’re not okay because a lot of people are not okay.”

The name - Myne, Body and Soul. The “Myne” taken from Jazzmyne name. Ben said while she went by the traditional pronunciation for Jazzmyne, when she was born, her father pronounced it as “mine.”

“Talk therapy, it works and it’s very crucial, but sometimes you need another option to go to. She would pay for massages but actually not even do the massages but just talk with them,” said Ben.

One of Ben’s goals is to bring mental health more into the forefront and to address some of the stigmas because he says that was something his wife faced. He said she was scared to talk about what she was dealing with because she didn’t want to be judged. He describes this effort as his “why” - something he has to do for Jazzmyne.

“I wasn’t understanding of the dynamics of depression, of other mental disorders. I wasn’t understanding fully like I do now,” Ben said.

He says he would like to have something open by March 4 - Jazzmyne’s birthday. Ben has started a GoFundMe to help raise money for the relaxation center. You can find those details here: Myne Body & Soul.

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