Removing the masks at Trees of Hope

Anne Moss Rogers, Tom Leahy, Diana Leahy

Tonight at Trees of Hope, we removed the mask of mental illness. Brandon Farbstein delivered a motivating message of hope, Savannah Hatcher mesmerized us with her violin and her voice, Sophia Nadder serenaded us, Hunter Zuppo and Ryan Prim rocked Pearl Jam and Chris Cornel’s music, and VCU RAMifications hypnotized us with acapella.

Congratulations Jayden Metzger and Greg McQuade for winning Ambassador of Hope awards for 2018.

Thank you to all my friends for coming out and supporting youth mental health and suicide prevention. It meant so much to me.

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

15 thoughts on “Removing the masks at Trees of Hope”

  1. Sarah, am another mother who’s lost a child (adult son) several years ago. He also suffered from mental illness as your daughter. I live in VA Beach and would make time to meet with you for lunch, dinner, or just coffee to be there for you, to be an ear to listen. The loss of a child is the hardest loss anyone can experience. You don’t get over it, you just learn to live with it. Please feel free to email me should you like to meet. If you’d rather talk on the phone, that’s fine too. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Blessings, Rachelle

      1. Dear Anne
        How are you ?
        Hello beautiful angel of hope !!!

        Your book about Charlie was well written and straight from your mother heart ! I hope you are managing and adapting to more time at home during this pandemic

        Would you please remove this online diaglogue between Rachelle and I when you are editing your blog ? It pains me to read it two years later My friendship with Rachelle has been short lived and a most unpleasant ending

        Sincerely Yours


      2. Dear Ms Rogers

        I don’t know who is managing this website at the moment
        I would like to as a favor of the website manager to kindly remove this post from your website I read your book too you did a wonderful job Ms Rogers
        My daughter died in a tragic drowning accident in 2017
        I read this message I posted it breaks my heart I met Ms Hanas we are no longer friends I would be so grateful if these posts could be removed from your site
        This is my second request

  2. Dear Ms Rogers
    Just found your website tonight
    Your son was a beautiful soul and I don’t understand how the earth can allow our children to go ahead of us
    God must have a answer
    I too suffer from conflicted. over powering grief.

    1. Oh Sarah I am so sorry. Even worse that your support system has abandoned you. I will say that last week was tough but it’s getting easier if that’s the right word. Softer. I want times to remember him now. So grief is not my enemy any more but my friend. I have survived. I do laugh. I do cry without shame. You must find some support in that area. It means everything. If you write a post, I can call on my network of support and I know we can find help and support for you in VA beach. You must have had years of difficulty with that mental illness and your sweet daughter.

      We are so glad you found us and I hope you will stay. Here you will get support, love, no judgment.

    2. Sarah – you hang in there. No feeling is ever final. And I felt like the second year was as hard or harder than the first. My son left us 5 years ago and it has been very hard. You are right – it is hell on earth. You are not alone however, sadly.
      I am so sorry about your support system collapsing. I had good support in the beginning, but they have tired of it. And they like to pretend that I’m just fine. No one asks anymore. It’s weird – you might find that people that you don’t know very well, or don’t know at all, are better support. Like this blog, for example. You keep commenting and we will talk with you.
      I will email you and check in…
      I will give you my support.
      You just go day by day and one day, you will find that it turns into week by week. Then month by month. It softens. You hang in there.
      Peace to you today.

    3. Sarah,

      There is a huge community of support, many of them here. I think the second year is almost worse than the first. The first year you are just so numb and sad and raw. The second year is just as sad, and almost more raw as some of the numbness begins to wear off, couple that with the “expectation” that we be “better”. Who gets better from the loss of a child. One day at a time. Sometimes one minute. Give yourself grace. Sending light and holding space for you. 💙

      1. I agree Jenny – with the second year come the expections and the realizations…..
        Its hard Sarah – love to you today too! <3

      2. Thank you
        I’m revisiting this website

        It will be four years March 8 I lost my daughter

        It’s so horrible , still !

        1. Sarah. I’m sorry it’s still so painful. Have you felt any progress? Are you able to enjoy anything? I only ask because I am concerned. Thank you for commenting. The way you have spoken about Katharine speaks volumes about how much you loved her. A lot of us here struggled when our child was alive because of mental illness and substance misuse. We struggle still after they are gone, in a different way.

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