So Bill Maher and I did a presentation Wednesday night for parents at St. Gertrude about addiction. Bill is a nationally known addiction interventionist and he had spoken with the students earlier that day. The young ladies asked a lot of questions during Bill’s presentation. And, as Bill put it, they were amazing and surprisingly engaged on the topic.

Thanks to a generous alumnus who unfortunately lost a child to overdose, these students got the gift of addiction education. We are, after all, in an opiate epidemic and this is the world our kids are growing up in. Having a conversation about addiction is key to removing the taboo and I applaud St. Gertrude’s proactive approach.

I joined Bill as co-presenter to talk to parents later in the evening. One of the school staff asked him about how you can tell if a student is struggling? And Bill posted this simple slide.

BAAA. Like a sheep.

If 2 of these–behavior, attitude, attendance, achievement– is slipping or changing, you know there is an issue and you need to ask questions and find out more. Mental illness? Alcohol abuse? Drug abuse? What’s driving the change?

What I’m saying is, don’t write it off as “typical teenage behavior.” Because it’s not.


Video: Forgive me momma – by Charles Aubrey Rogers

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Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked mental health speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

6 thoughts on “BAAA”

  1. Anne Moss, it’s wonderful to hear that your presentation, though not unexpected, was such an engaging event. Thanks for all your passion and tireless work on behalf of so many, especially just on the heels of your personal health challenge. You are back to work without skipping a beat. As I lay here this morning, on yet another painful and challenging new day with my own physical health issues, I read through today’s blog following article link to link. I wish every contributor, every bereaved mom and dad here, to know just how much their words touch, even paralyzed my mind at times and taking me back, triggering memories, some long-forgotten. Thank you for that gift. It has just ticked off 4 1/2 years on the calendar since losing my youngest son, Garrett, to suicide, Forever 21. But right now I am too overwhelmed in respect to my situation and my loss to respond to each of you individually but I want you to know HOW MUCH I appreciate your words and sharing your pain. Thank each of you. XXOO
    <3 <3 <3 <3 3

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