In 2019, CharlotteFive named her a community builder. In 2020, she saved a college football player’s life. And in 2021, Nexstar Media Group crowned her the National Remarkable Woman of the Year. Charlotte resident Fonda Bryant is a mental health and suicide prevention advocate dedicated to helping save lives.

At 35, Bryant’s life was saved by her personal hero, her Aunt Spankie. Depressed, exhausted and self-isolating, Bryant was simply going through the motions of life while planning her suicide. “I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what,” Bryant said.

“Culture matters when it comes to mental health, and in the BIPOC community you’re told to just be stronger, toughen up, to pray about it. My mother had five children, so I thought why can’t I do this with just one? What is wrong with me?”

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