Mother’s day story for grieving moms

I checked in with my friend Kate who lives near me and recently lost a son, Taylor, to suicide. This year’s mother’s day will be her first since her son’s death. Many of us get a Mother’s Day card or letter. But the Mother’s Day cards and letters she got were exceptional.

“Yesterday, I checked the mail and had a letter from Gift of Hope. (Organ donation) Inside was another sealed envelope with a letter from the man that received Taylor’s lungs, as well as a handwritten note from all four of his adopted children and one from his wife. Read more...

Tammy: Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness- Video 1

by Tammy Ozolins, for Mental Health Awareness Month

Tammy will be doing at least three (maybe four) more videos for mental health awareness month.

Transcript- “Hello my name is Tammy and may is mental health awareness month and I’m here to share my story and I’m also here to help fight the stigma against mental health because we should be very open about it and we need to talk about it especially nowadays we need to talk about it and come together and support each other.

So I manage and cope with bipolar disorder and I am also a suicide … Read more...

Talking About Suicide With Our Patients: Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Lia Gaggino MD and I met when I was the keynote speaker at the AAP, AFSP, NIMH Youth Summit on Suicide Prevention. Dr. Gaggino is a pediatrician who is passionate about youth mental health and this episode of her podcast focuses on preventing youth suicide in honor of mental health month. Take us on your walk today.

Show notes

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What’s life without you?

by Kiernan Gallagher, 15 years old
Published with her mother’s permission

Trigger warning: Strong emotional content and suicide method mentioned.

One I never wanted to imagine. But instead, I now live it.

They say it gets easier.

It doesn’t. And I knew that from day one. 

It’s been over a year and I still remember everything. I still feel everything.

On September 26, 2019, I didn’t go to bed until four in the morning. I woke up four hours later just to get smacked in the face — reality check, everything actually happened. I’ve never actually told anyone … Read more...

I am in charge of my recovery from bipolar disorder

by Tammy Ozolins

Tammy is a middle school teacher who contributes regularly to this blog on subjects related to mental health

Being diagnosed with a mental condition called Bipolar Disorder (I do not call it an illness anymore, because my brain is not sick, it is just different) has been challenging at times but it has made me such a stronger person in so many ways.

When I was first getting medical treatment I would go into the psychiatrist’s office and just nod my head, yes, and say Uhm, and not say much, even if I felt like the medicine … Read more...

Happy 26th birthday to my son in heaven

Charles would be 26 on April 26, 2021. It is easier now, almost six years later, than the birthdays were at first.

Looking back

At a time when the only thing normal in my life was the setting on my dryer, the landscape disintegrated to ashes and nothing mattered. Everything was trivial compared to my monumental loss. No problem could meet the enormity of the hole this one left me with and humility found the opportunity to move in and permanently take residence. How could I have missed a hurt so big it would drive my son to end his … Read more...

There is no shame in telling someone you are depressed

by Danny Gautama

Danny

Telling someone is not a weakness but an act of courage that makes you stronger.

So often, people are afraid to tell family members or friends about depression. You did not harm anyone. You did not steal from an old lady or rob a bank. You are facing a problem that is hard for you to deal with alone. It can be hard in the long run if, god forbid, it gets worse.

You are not saying anything offensive to others by telling someone you are depressed. You have the right to express yourself if you … Read more...

Thank you note from a teen in India

self harm safety kit artwork
Ayushree’s artwork

Many times, teens will go to google to ask a burning question. Usually, those questions are of a sensitive nature.

Ayushree is from India. She is very intelligent, cute, and very talented. It was last year when she reached out to me because she was distressed over her habit of self-harming when she was distressed. She knew it wasn’t the right way to cope but she wasn’t sure what to do to break the habit and she had distanced herself recently from a toxic friend group.

We emailed back and forth and the first thing I asked her … Read more...

Which college to choose for a child who lives with mental illness

With suicide being the number two cause of death on college campuses in the United States, you don’t need to be paying tuition at any college that doesn’t support your child’s emotional health. What you want to look for is a university that puts student wellness first and not one that simply does a one-time poster campaign during May mental health month.

What sends students to the counseling centers most often? Anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. That’s because college life means increased workload, stress, less structure, and more focus on peers which can collide with learning and self-esteem issues. A young … Read more...

Pain Turns To Purpose: A Suicide, A Mother’s Grief & A Second Act

Link to the podcast website, links to other podcast platforms, and show notes.

Second Act Stories is a podcast that shares the stories of people who have made major career changes to pursue more rewarding lives in a second act. Each episode examines the “before” and “after” phases of a life/career change and offers lessons learned.

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