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Joe Tuia’ana

In January 2022, Joe Tuia’ana was busy living his best single-dad-to-three-daughters life and driving to basketball practice when he noticed a man on an overpass ledge having a mental health crisis. He pulled over and, while his daughter called emergency services, Joe approached the man. Not knowing what to do, he opened his arms and repeated the words, “I love you, bro.” Eventually, he was able to grab the belt and hood of the man and pull him to safety. After some local and national attention — including a letter from Senator Mike Lee — he started the “i love you, bro PROJECT.” The project addresses ongoing mental health concerns of adult men in our area. The group offers weekly support groups in Provo and West Jordan called “Courage to Bro” where men “leave their masks at the door” and build emotional connections with other men. Way to go, bro!

Hero’s Journey My father died two weeks before I entered the MTC as a 19-year-old. My ongoing grief is constantly recycling into more and more compassion and empathy for others. Also, my divorce taught me how valuable family is and how lucky and blessed I am to be a dad. I’ve also learned how to be the best ex-husband I possibly can. I also suffered from alcohol addiction (now almost three years sober). I’ve learned that temptation will never go away, so strengthening myself and my family can never stop. 

New Chapter 1) My divorce, making it so I had my kids full-time. 2) The overpass suicide prevention event. Those two events have shaped my present and have brought me the most joy in my life. 

Vital Title “The Book of Mormon.” It’s a powerful resource to learn about faith, hope and true love — God’s never-ending, never-ceasing love for all of us — and how I can apply that kind of love into to my everyday life.

Tired Trope People who “hear” but don’t listen, “look” but don’t see, and “care about” but don’t love.

Character Backstory I recently wrote a young adult book that is currently being illustrated by the amazing Adam Munoa (“Fab 40” from 2023). The book should be completed this year.

The Sequel Working full-time for the i love you, bro PROJECT, managing and operating our future headquarters, giving every man in the community a safe space to help themselves through connection, learning, and service to others.