FLORHAM PARK, N.J.- Ricky Godoy was a confident, intelligent and outgoing entrepreneur. Ricky refused to let his diagnosis define him and went on to establish his own multimedia business, YODOG media (his last name backwards!).  Within the year, he became a thumbtack pro because of his genuine personality, outstanding services and unparalleled work ethic.  However, he was much more than a businessman. Ricky was open and honest about his struggles with his mental illness. Although by revealing this, many people drew back from him personally and professionally. He decided that things needed to be changed. He wanted people to understand that it was possible to live a meaningful life regardless of any diagnosis. He wanted to help people understand that those struggling are impressive individuals who all share a common thread of creativity that deserves to be shared and enjoyed despite their diagnosis.  

One of Ricky’s goals was to create a documentary to destigmatize mental illness and to put it in Ricky’s own words, “create a documentary that will show the other side of mental illness, the side that is entirely creative and filled with inspiration.” This dream was never brought to completion. On September 21st, 2017, Ricky died by suicide. This does not have to be the end result for anyone battling with mental health issues. 

However Ricky's Compass has launched with love by close friends and co-founders Alexis Thomas, Ricky’s sister, Melissa Recarte and Alexandra Zimmerman. The website shares more of Ricky's story. Facebook Instagram and Twitter feeds provide more opportunity for connection and the mini series "Diagnosed, But Not Defined" interviews people who have powerful mental health stories and has two episodes up on all sites. It was Ricky's dream to shatter the stigma. Everything these girls do drives the passion to #shatterthestigma, and all are encouraged to participate. Ricky's COMPASS stands for Community Outreach on Mental Health to Promote Awareness and Stop Stigmatization.  Visit Ricky's Compass and listen to Ricky speak about his journey and vision. We at TAPinto  East Hanover Florham Park are driven to help spread the word and support the vision of our loved co-worker. Stay tuned for more information and events in the coming months. Do your part to #shatterthestigma 

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