Anne Moss Rogers, Mental Health Speaker and Author
Author: 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.
There are actually good things about grief. Believe it or not. You realize along life’s path, you can only control one person, yourself. And in grief, you realize you can’t always do that. You have to let the journey lead you and there are times you simply can’t fix yourself but you can guide yourself.
In this journey that absolutely no one wants to be on, you simply see more things than you saw before, let things go that are not important and reach out and touch people you would have never thought to connect with. You also learn other … Read more...
Those of you who have a child with special needs, mental health issues, learning or physical disabilities know how hard it is for that child to earn a high school degree. There are countless road blocks, problems, run ins with teachers over homework etc. Providing Charles with the support to finish high school was so difficult and expensive, it was a full time job in and of itself.
We enlisted the help of an educational consultant, Martha Kolbe who has since passed away. I would highly recommend that step. While we ultimately had to choose a boarding school, there … Read more...
I know so many don’t know what to say to those who’ve suffered a loss, particularly that of a child and in the case of suicide.
Unfortunately, I can check both those boxes.
Suggestions on what to say
I made a pact to welcome any and all comments and never pass judgement on what someone has asked or said because it takes guts to speak up. After so many years of suffering in silence since he had such stigmatized illnesses, it’s a relief to let it out.
Figuring out what someone else in the same shoes wants is tough.
I loved the Harry Potter Tour in London. But once they opened the doors to the studio, my heart was flooded by a tsunami of emotions as I reflected on how much Charles Rogers would have loved this tour. The tears refused to be held back but it was dark so I thought it was enough to hide my grief. Sometimes the grief just ambushes me like a punch to the heart.
I found a seat in the crowd and as I was struggling to pull it together, a concerned Warner Brothers staff member came up to me and asked … Read more...
Probably one of the toughest things about having a child who died, especially one that died by suicide, is that many people avoid you and say nothing. And yes, we notice. In fact, we are hypersensitive to it.
It’s isolating and devastating enough without the added stress of someone obviously avoiding you or the subject because they don’t know what to say. I understand why. But it still hurts.
And sometimes when I have brought it up to eliminate the elephant in the room, people wave me off or turn away like it’s too ugly and they don’t want to … Read more...
A painful day. Meetings provided some distraction.
I was at the Comcast office today and I asked the CSR what his tattoo represented. He said it was for his mom who died when he was 15. He was about 28-30.
I asked him flat out if she had been a heroin addict and died from that disease. And he said yes. How did I know to ask? How did I just know that sun tattoo represented a mother who died of addiction? How could I have been so bold to ask that of a perfect stranger? I don’t know. I … Read more...
Signs of depression are different for teens than they are for adults. Some teens can look so happy and well adjusted because they are masters at hiding depression.
Charles could be moody, sullen sometimes but he was actually hypersocial– always needing to be surrounded by people.
He was often described as “unmotivated,” another telltale sign of depression.
Charles always got sick. He caught absolutely everything.
I never knew it until recently but getting sick all the time is a sign of depression– especially in teens. Charles was diagnosed with depression at wilderness but he never admitted it. Too much stigma. … Read more...
I didn’t. There is something called the “nod” where someone using heroin will nod off.
Sometimes an addict will sleep 24 hours straight due to heroin being laced with Xanax. In many areas now, they lace heroin with (fentanyl). Last drug test I gave my son indicated multiple drugs mixed in there, at least 9 out of the 12-panel tested on the screening test.
After using the drug, the addicted person has upset stomach, diarrhea and vomiting.
Heroin is snorted or injected so you might not be aware your son or daughter, husband or wife is using for quite a while. Typically, … Read more...
This was originally posted on the blog of the business I owned for 7 years.
Anne Moss Rogers’ son, Charles, 20, died by suicide June 5, 2015.
Charles was a creative genius who was articulate, intelligent, funny and loved to rap. He was currently in the process of producing a new album when he died by suicide.
While he lit up every room he ever entered, he struggled with anxiety and depression, addiction, ADHD and a sleep disorder. A deep, soulful and sensitive young man, Charles loved and treasured family and loved dogs, funky socks, drama and writing. But most … Read more...