The hot potato topic

What I speak about is often acknowledged as important.

Heads nod, emails are answered and then the, “I think that is Sara’s or Kenny’s area.” Let me introduce you to these five people. And my message just gets drowned out in a sea of emails of “we’ll get back to you later.”

Do I get back? Sure I do. But what I get in response is, “Did you ever talk to Kenny or Sara?” No, they wouldn’t call me back.

Suicide, mental illness, grief and addiction are topics people want to pass to someone else to take care of. Not … Read more...

Hope Illuminated Podcast. SEO, Social Media & Suicide

Episode 49 of the Hope Illuminated Podcast with Sally Spencer Thomas.

I touch on the work I’m doing with digital marketing to save lives at a critical moment through technology. I met Sally in person at the NSA (National Speaker’s Association) Influence Conference and we hit it off. If suicide prevention is an important topic to you, please subscribe to Sally’s podcast. It’s very well done and she is a suicide prevention rock star.

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Why don’t people tell us they are thinking of suicide?

From what those with lived experience have told me and what studies show, it goes something like this.

“I’m afraid my mom and dad will no longer be proud of me.” -15 year old male (race?)

“I’m afraid the army will find out and I’ll never get promotions. If they find out I’m seeing a counselor, it will ruin my military career. That’s why I drive 45 minutes to see a private counselor. I don’t want them to know.” -21 year old white male army recruit

“I’m afraid my wife will think I am weak.” -59 year old married white … Read more...

Let’s Talk It Out Podcast

Link to Episode 48 with Alec Lifschultz III. The award winning podcast that was created to break the silence on mental health issues and give a voice to those suffering with host Alec Lifschultz III (Twitter: @TreyBizzy).

I talk about the trauma of having lost a child and my struggles with having suffered from a brain tumor and the aftermath of the surgeries and radiation treatment.

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We tell people to reach out. We don’t tell them how

I got this message from a mom.

The daughter was googling how to kill herself, clicked on a link in a post I wrote expressly to capture people in crisis on this website.

There is a link on that page to this article. How to Tell Your Parents You Want to Die

The daughter read the article and she told her mom about her feelings.

I used a digital marketing technique I used to use to get plumbers leads online, help orthopedic surgeons get more knee surgery patients, and help a store in New York sell more diamonds online.

Why … Read more...

Melancholy and sentimental

Facebook post back when Charles was still alive. Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving day 2019 was beautiful and started with a hike in the mountains. Dinner was amazing and festive.

There’s a familiar dull ache and heavy feeling that comes over me. I see our family together and know how much Charles would have enjoyed it. More than anything, that child loved family and the get togethers that brought us all together.

He’d have been outside today with those kids playing badminton and he would have orchestrated a corn hole game after. He’d have insisted we all go outside and build a … Read more...

Life (UN) CLOSETED 409: Coming out of the closet about suicide

Listen on this site.

Life (UN)Closeted: LGBTQ & Heterosexual Coming Out Stories & Advice for coming out of life’s closets! Host, Rick Clemons addresses getting out of your comfort zone and living the life unapologetically. I love, love, love the theme of this podcast. The intro rocks and Rick is a great host and amazing speaker.

Each episode takes you on a brash, fun, and in-your-face, provocative storytelling ride that explores how to escape your bullshit, explore your fears, and … Read more...

Rams in Recovery needs your help

by Michelle Omowaiye
Rams in Recovery, started by my friend Tom Bannard, is a collegiate group of students in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) located at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Just recently, Governor Ralph Northam announced that $675,000 in federal grant money will go towards expanding collegiate recovery programs at eight universities in Virginia.

Rams in Recovery offers space for recovery meetings, organize events and trips, offer recovery housing and scholarships and this group is doing a service project with the goal of creating care bags for the men at The Healing Place.

The … Read more...

What to look for in a mental health speaker

Given the sensitivity around topics such as addiction, mental illness, and suicide, meeting professionals should strive to hire a mental health speaker who pays attention to safe messages. So here are some thoughts on how meeting professionals and event planners can find the right behavioral health speaker.  

Mental health speakers should avoid graphic descriptions

While you want your speaker to deliver a thoughtful and educational presentation, avoid hiring or inviting mental health speakers who go into graphic detail about suicide method or cleanup which could potentially be triggering, especially for young students and … Read more...

Chastised for going back to work too soon after a child’s death?

So what is the right amount of time to be out of work after death of a child? That depends on the individual.

Loss of a child is a traumatic grief whether it’s suicide, overdose, death from cancer, or some other cause.

Parents who lose a child still have mortgages to pay and car payments to make. For many Americans, no work means no pay. So choice has little to do with how soon some people go back after a child’s death. Consider yourself fortunate if you do have choices.

For those who do have a choice, there is no … Read more...