Virtual learning coping skills workshops

“I highly recommend to any clinicians right now, any group work you can do with students is the most important work you can do right now, just so that kids are seeing other faces.”

Jessica Chock-Goldman

Teachers and school counselors are calling them social skills workshops, mental health check-ins, or coping skills workshops. During COVID-19 they’ve been a critical connector.

You might think middle and high school kids wouldn’t be logging into these sessions. But they are. And according to those I’ve interviewed for the book I’m writing, the students are tuning in. Eagerly.

This was too important not to … Read more...

Spotty posting the next two months

You all know I’m writing a book. And if you don’t, you do now. It’s a book for the education market about preventing student suicide. The publisher’s deadline is in a little over two months. So unless I get more of your stories, I might miss some days posting.

You guys have introduced me to some awesome people to interview for this book. Thank you for that. I’ll be in my bunker the next few weeks not hiding from COVID but racing to meet this deadline.

Since this is the end of suicide prevention month, I thought I’d share … Read more...

Stigma thrives on silence

Charles didn’t tell any of us he had ever suffered thoughts of suicide and watching my child self-destruct for the last five years of his life was my introduction to powerlessness and humility. On this addiction and depression journey with my child, I got to know those two really well.

Charles was stubborn about accepting any kind of help or intervention. That’s what depression does when fueled by social stigma. Denial is part of its charm, judgment so crucial to its success, and shame is where it thrives.

Stigma silences people and stirs up fear. We’re addicted to it because … Read more...

Supporting Your Teens & Navigating Mental Health Issues, Addiction and Suicide w/ Anne Moss Rogers

Sara Argenal recorded this conversation before COVID but it’s amazing how everything talked about is not only still relevant, it’s even MORE relevant. The rates of depression, anxiety, and risk of suicide are growing, and COVID has only intensified these issues for teens in particular. We added some narrative about how COVID is impacting teens, and how people can best support their teens in this trying and unpredictable time. … Read more...

Search and Rescue Song

This is a lovely song written by Tony Andrade, John Droese and Bennie Droese and with permission to share here.

Castaway
Are You Drowning in despair
If you want, Just reach out
You know that I’ll be there
Tie the line, I’ll pull you close
From your sea of blame
A thousand miles, a world away
I’ll find you just the same
I’ll search I’ll Rescue
However far, how long the day
Whatever wrecks you
when your lost, alone and you drift away
I’ll be your lifeline the one that won’t let go
I’ll … Read more...

I wanted it all to end. And then it did.

I was so distraught when Charles was out somewhere in the city after relapsing from heroin addiction. He still had not admitted to being addicted to that drug although he did admit to an addiction to an opiate. Sort of.

He didn’t want us to know all the ugly details and HIPAA prevented anyone from sharing information with us. So we had to rely on what he was telling us which was usually fabricated or only partly true.

How could I make a decision on wobbly information?

My brain was decision impaired. I wanted all of it to stop–go to … Read more...

Add Crisis Text Line info in physical and virtual classrooms

For teachers, their classrooms and virtual classrooms, and even parents and ministers, make the crisis text line visible.

Below is a downloadable pdf that you can print out and post. Or download the virtual background for use in online classes.

With 25% of teens seriously considering suicide during this pandemic, we need to make the resources visible. There is also a link to a school kit with social media images for schools to post.

Read more...

Don’t stick a smiley face on my whine

COVID-19 sucks. Yeah, sure good stuff will come out of it, or has come out of it. Bad stuff, too not to mention a lot of death and people without jobs.

I don’t complain often. Not much at all really. But on a few occasions, someone has stuck a smiley face on my whine and pointed out that “everyone is in the same boat,” or “everyone feels the same way.”

Well, that doesn’t mean I don’t want a minute to moan for a couple of minutes and express what I’ve lost in this process. It might not be as bad … Read more...

Submit your emotionally naked story

I need your story. If you have lived experience with mental illness, addiction, or suicide if you have lost someone to suicide. Stories from veterans, about veterans, about LGBTQ individuals or indigenous people.

If you work with schools, teach coping strategies, or have an upstream strategy to share. The guidelines are here.

Read more...

Hanging on for dear life

After my son’s suicide, it was all I could do to exist. Blistering pain, the shock of loss, and fear of the process on which I was to embark left me clinging to the sides of a whirlpool of grief that threatened to suck me in. There were times it was all I could do to hold on.

Finding hope in those early days was a bleak expedition. But I never lost it. If the day started with sunshine, I found it there. If it was a cloudy day, I found it in a flower. There was always a ray … Read more...