How teachers can support grieving students (tips specific to suicide)

Many of these tips are specific to suicide, however, most of them will work for any grief event.

Many schools will react to a death or suicide loss by bringing in outside counselors. And while that’s with the best intentions, the truth is, students are going to want to talk to you, the person they know, and not a stranger. Being together and connecting is an important part of the grieving process and school is one place, if not the only place, where this can happen consistently over a period of time.

The goal is not to make teachers grief … Read more...

Virtual Coping Strategies Awareness Workshop

Students in Mississauga, Canada. Student Coping Strategies Workshop.

Above are the student leaders with whom I practiced prior taking this workshop online with this group of high school students in Mississauga, Canada. They helped me work through the kinks and test the tools.

25 participants in this one. My largest was in-person group of 100.

All presentations start with the prevention lifeline, crisis text line, and a trigger warning that you can leave or take a break. One student is tasked with getting together the resources for that school and the immediate area. So one of the leaders of the … Read more...

Suicide Prevention in Primary Care: Save a Life with Dustin Bogen PA-C

Dustin Bogan PA-C of Pediatric and Adolescent Health Partners talks about suicide screening before and during COVID, the rise in results, and the lives saved. He has some amazing stories and it’s worth your time to listen.

This one also focuses on how his practice, the first in the country, uses the ASQ Suicide Screening Tool from NIMH, the results they’ve gotten.

  • During COVID-19 pandemic, there were 2-3 consults per day for depression and anxiety even with the limited patient visits and from there, at least 3-4 of those had suicidal ideation
  • 2-6 people are struggling with thoughts of suicide
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Charles died six years ago

Charles Aubrey Rogers, April 26, 1995-June 5-2015

The ache in my chest is so acute, I gasp for air. I tell myself that the intensity won’t last long. I can do this. How many times have I done this before?

Those bursts of grief are shorter now, the intensity still sharp but less something.

I no longer hold myself hostage for the what-ifs or blame myself for parenting errors. I left that in its wake years ago. What good would it do? Moments of guilt do happen still but it’s a short sting and then I remember that I have … Read more...

Video: Amanda talks about the dangers of Adderall and Suicide

This video was originally shared with me by Tara’s mother, Catherine McMahon Miles who lost her daughter Tara Marie McMahon (12/18/98-2/21/21) to depression that was complicated by an Adderall addiction which led to her suicide. Tara had been off Adderall for a year but had self-medicated her depression with it previously and she had called Adderall her “death certificate.”

In Tara’s journals, she asked her family to share her story to help others and the video was created by her best friend in college, Amanda, and originally posted on Facebook to warn others who might be thinking that Adderall … Read more...

Tammy’s coping skills for bipolar disorder

This is one of the last videos in our series from Tammy for mental health month. This one focuses on how she copes with bipolar disorder.

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My journey back to life after struggles with thoughts of suicide

by Graham

Dear Anne-

I’ve been meaning to mail you for a little while now. Last year, you really helped me when I hit a deep low with a very traumatic situation I was dealing with in my life. I was thinking about suicide because the mental and emotional pain I was in was so intense, and felt permanent like it was never going to ease or end.

I’ve learned a lot since then. Researched a lot about how I came to feel that way in the first place, and things I needed to do to recover. And slowly, very … Read more...

Tammy on accepting her bipolar diagnosis

For mental health awareness month, Tammy discusses how she accepted her diagnosis of bipolar. Or rather, how she denied it at first and what it took for her to accept it and the self care it takes to maintain her good health.

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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...

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.

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