I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and my book, Diary of a Broken Mind, will be published in the fall. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015.
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. Professional Speaker Website
That’s how the drug culture was able to flourish and become an epidemic.
With the digital age, that which we thought would connect us more, connected us less. We became busier, families no longer were growing up in towns together, kids were getting less freestyle playground time, and 45% less face-to-face time with friends and family than the generation before.
All of that fostered a culture where a lot of people felt down, anxious, lonely and isolated. The lack of face time and freestyle play meant kids didn’t develop the coping skills and the resilience … Read more...
When Charles was about to be released from rehab, he called and begged us to do Suboxone to help him transition. We wondered, “What is the right thing to do?”
At the time, many people were saying that it was trading one drug for another. And there are still people who I respect that think that way.
It was a consideration but we were in the midst of putting our house on the market and about to move so we had to find Charles a room in a recovery house. At the time, the recovery houses were not taking people … Read more...
It’s so tempting to blame our child’s initial drug-seeking behavior on “hanging out with the wrong crowd.” It’s the number one go-to reason parents tell me is the reason for their child’s drug use.
Kids start using to:
Ease their pain and feel better
In my opinion, “to belong” is rarely the reason these days. We think our child chooses some friend group that just happens to all start using about the same time and our kid gets innocently sucked into the vortex of substance misuse.
There are four traits that Put Kids at Risk of Substance Misuse and in January 2019, VCU Institute of Drug & Alcohol Studies with Beacon Tree Foundation, won the VCU CCTR Endowment Fund to implement Preventure, a personality-targeted life skills training program that has been shown to reduce drug and alcohol use in schools by up to 80%.
The pilot study, the first in the US, will include four Virginia … Read more...
Minority mental health month is inclusive of ethnic groups as well as other marginalized populations such as the LGBTQ community. While it’s hard for any group of people to find good mental health care, it’s especially difficult for minority populations.
Lack of acceptance, prejudice or denial of mental illness in these communities can increase the risk of suicide. For this post, I’m focusing on suicide rates and attempts by minority populations. These are sobering statistics.
I walked into a grocery store. I was trying to do real life things but it was like wading through sludge. Thankfully, we still had meals coming to the house and what I needed was just the basics. I was so grateful for that.
As soon as I went inside, I saw someone I knew duck quickly into another aisle.
My God I was being avoided.
For the most part, my friends and neighbors had greeted me, hugged me. I had been very public about my son’s addiction and suicide. But this stung. I had experienced the most devastating loss … Read more...