Audio version of Diary of a Broken Mind

Voice by Lisa Williams. It took a while but the audio version of the book is out. And of course, paperback and kindle as well. Audible audiobook is on Amazon.

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Twenty-minute podcast for parents who’ve just lost a child

Link to the podcast hosted by Laura Diehl from Grieving Parents Sharing Hope.

There is no training for being a bereaved parent. Those of us who have lost a child do understand, and we want to walk with you, especially through the darkest part of your grief.

In this podcast episode, there will be things shared that are important for you to know. Not in the way of a “to do” list, but more of a “give yourself grace” list.

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Autism, social struggles, and suicide

by Abby

There is something that’s been weighing on me lately. I was diagnosed with depression about 3 years ago, and it got better for a while but it recently started to come back. I keep having thoughts that everyone would be happier without me, and unfortunately, it’s starting to seem more and more true every day.

I’m on the autism spectrum so it’s already hard to deal with a world that wasn’t built for someone like me, but feeling like this all the time makes it harder.

I keep having a hard time at work and disappointing my boss, … Read more...

How can I help a friend who lost her child to suicide?

One of the most frequent questions I get is, “How can I help my friend who lost his or her son (or daughter) to suicide?” And so I’ll answer that here with some explanation of how those parents feel. I can’t possibly touch on everything. I have a 280-page book that does that.

I remember a friend who lost his Dad to suicide in the 1970s. No one came by. No one called. And then two days after, a neighbor dropped by but didn’t come in. And he brought with him a bucket of chicken and handed it to him … Read more...

The George Clooney of dogs has joined Charles in heaven

Andy pops out of the car with his young owner and runs around the yard. Charles takes to him immediately. They run around together and Charles is conscious that he doesn’t want to look too excited. But I can tell it’s a done deal. Andy will be our dog.

Andy dog is four. Charles is 15.

Years prior in middle school, Charles had made a soul-wrenching appeal in an English paper for a dog. Anyone with a heart would have adopted one in ten minutes after reading it. But I kept my boundary. I had a new business, two kids, … Read more...

What I put in my self-harm safety kit

by Ayushree

Note from Anne Moss: A self-harm safety box is a kit that a person puts together as a self-help strategy. This was sent to me by Ayushree and she details the contents of her safety box which she has so far found helpful in breaking her self-harm habit.

Self-harm safety box

To make my own self-harm safety kit, I took a shoebox, covered it in white paper and made doodles all over it. I didn’t write anything on it because otherwise, my mom would know.

Doodles are one of my hobbies and it helps me to relieve stress. … Read more...

Priyanka’s coping strategies for working through depression

by Priyanka Sarkar, chemistry and biology graduate, India

Priyanka’s daily journal

Before focusing on any particular strategies, I want to emphasize that loving yourself is more important than anything on this list. Be your own cheering section and make sure you do that every day. Treat yourself with love and respect. If you do, others will, too. This phase tests your patience thoroughly but trusts me it ends (even though it may not seem like it) with you attaining wisdom. Now the coping strategies that helped me through depression.

1) Acknowledging and establishing a connection with my feelings

Generally, we … Read more...

Grieving in front of a child

Should you hide your tears? Your pain? Won’t grieving in front of your kids make them more afraid of death and losing you?

You looked this up or saw this on social media and decided to read because maybe your sibling, friend, parent, spouse, or cousin told you that you shouldn’t grieve in front of the kids. They’ve grief shamed you. Maybe they said you needed to be “strong” in front of the kids. In this case, they defined strong as hiding your feelings as if that’s some badge of honor–covering it all up for their sake.

Let’s say … Read more...

Concrete strategies that helped me work through my teen depression

Desmond Herzfelder is a freshman at Harvard University majoring in applied math and visual art.

Note from Anne Moss: Kim O’Brien and I interviewed Desmond for our book, Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. We asked several young adults who struggled as teens how they survived a dark period in their lives and the coping strategies they used to find their way out. This is Desmond’s thoughtful response.

by Desmond Herzfelder

1) Prioritizing my happiness!

This, above all else, made the difference for me.

2) Reaching out for help.

I cannot say … Read more...

Fifty thousand dollars!

Markel representative hands NAMI Executive Director, Kathy Harkey a check for $50,000.

I am a board member for NAMI Virginia and newly appointed fundraising chair. I did a panel event about mental health earlier this year, hosted by Markel Corporation employee Deborah and Mary A. Deborah told her mental health story for the first time and it was incredible and brave and her co-workers were in disbelief that the person they see as so together had struggled with addiction and mental health issues.

Later that year, Markel sponsored the NAMI virtual walk. I introduced Portia, one of the staff at … Read more...