Ruaraidh is a husband, father, and grandfather. He was born in Tanganyika (now known as Tanzania – a new country formed in the merging of Tanganyika and Zanzibar). He was registered as a Canadian born abroad. Ruaraidh is no stranger to life’s struggles and trauma’s having personally experienced many of the curve balls that life can throw at you. He is an attempt survivor.

While a post-grad student at the University of Edinburgh, the course of life changed for Ruaraidh when a gunman took the lives of 16 five and six-year-old children, together with their teacher, in a massacre at a primary school in the village of Dunblane, Scotland in 1996. Two of the victims were friends of his own children who attended another school in another village. Ruaraidh’s life and mission since has been to steady lives and help people say ‘no’ to suicide, with an underlying mission to help be a part of the ‘early warning system’ that is necessary to defuse the human ticking time bombs that may be threatening to perpetrate shootings and other atrocities in our communities.

He’s a professional member of the American Counseling Association and the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association. He’s a postgraduate of the University of Edinburgh. And a suicidologist and human behaviorist.

Among other awards, he’s a recipient of The President’s National Award from The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention for ‘outstanding service to the people of Canada’, and the PREVNet National Award (Canada’s authority on bullying prevention). He’s a sought after speaker nationally and internationally and speaks on radio and TV as a subject expert.

He swims against the tide, helping people to understand that it is ok to be human.

Ruaraidh comments:

“The one size fits all approach of mental health does not work. For over 20 years I have had the privilege of walking alongside people who have been struggling with all kinds of emotional situations, traumas, and circumstances. I have yet to learn of a pill that will mend a broken heart. I’m not circling the wagons and saying that we’ve got it right and everyone else has got it wrong. All I am asking is that we make room for Your Life Counts and our approach.

I am very grateful for all the help and support we have from some great people and corporations. It’s truly a team effort.

YLC helps people to reconnect with their reasons to live. We restore hope, value, and meaning. In so doing, YLC helps people to say ‘no’ to suicide. I am living proof that YLC works.”

  • S. Ruaraidh Butler; Founder & CEO; Your Life Counts! International Inc.

One of my favourite quotes:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt Jr., 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909.