Kerry Rhodes and I were recently featured in an article in the newspaper about supporting the recovery high school in Virginia. And I was on an NBC news segment about the same bill, HB 928 sponsored by Del. Carrie Coyner.
A poem by Daniel Hlawacz
Sometimes the cruel reality of life hits
That every moment is to be cherished as priceless
Wake up this morning but by the night we could be lifeless
The angel of death came calling to take away another nice kid
The fragile state we live our life in
We succumb to the deadly battles we can’t stop fighting
The disease of addiction is like clashing with a Titan
But somehow makes the path to death look enticing
Caskets filled with broken dreams
Mother emotionally coming apart at the seams
Questioning why the lord didn’t intervene… Read more...
by Teri Rafferty
I have built a shrine of sorts.
It’s not because he was perfect, I remember all of the faults and why we are here instead of somewhere else. It’s because the thought of forgetting him, as my memories of him slip away, is unbearable.
You know, you think your story is unique until you hear others and realize we could almost tell each other’s stories with a few variations.
Daniel died of an accidental fentanyl overdose 27 days after getting out of jail, where he had … Read more...
Updates here: Passed unanimously through the education committee.
Kerry and Taylor Rhodes lost their son, Taylor to overdose and my husband and I lost our son Charles to suicide while he was going through withdrawal from a heroin addiction. We were at the General Assembly to speak on behalf of the bill HB 928.
Delegate Carrie Coyner is the Chief Patron for House Bill 928, which would establish the Region’s first Recovery High School Pilot serving Region 1 schools in Virginia at no extra cost to parents.
Region… Read more...
by Kari Schwear
As a former gray area drinker, I found myself living a double life appearing to have it all together, but wrestling with my wine addiction in secrecy. In this story, I explain how I ended up in that place.
When I was just seven years old, I asked–“Is this all there is to life?” I wondered if life was really so lonely and empty–a profound thought for a 7-year-old.
As time went on, I never seemed to feel any excitement for life. Some special moments stood out, but for the most part, I dreaded school … Read more...
This podcast focuses on how to talk to kids about depression, substance misuse, and suicide from my perspective as a mother whose child died by suicide in 2015.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10 and 34-year-olds, only behind the unintentional injury, in the United States. Much of suicide has a correlation with depression and substance misuse—and while there is an epidemic of teen depression and suicide, only 45% of teen girls and 33% of teen boys who have experienced an episode of depression got treatment in 2019. It’s time to start … Read more...
by Kerri Jenkins Rhodes
There really are no words to describe the pain of losing a child.
To wake up each day and find a way to get through it, to find a purpose for the pain, a way to give all the love you want to give to your loved one and to others that need it.
To find a way to make a life for yourself with a huge part of your heart missing.
Unfortunately too many of us are in this awful club. We will all survive this because one day we will meet … Read more...
What I speak about is often acknowledged as important.
Heads nod, emails are answered and then the, “I think that is Sara’s or Kenny’s area.” Let me introduce you to these five people. And my message just gets drowned out in a sea of emails of “we’ll get back to you later.”
Do I get back? Sure I do. But what I get in response is, “Did you ever talk to Kenny or Sara?” No, they wouldn’t call me back.
Suicide, mental illness, grief and addiction are topics people want to pass to someone else to take care of. Not … Read more...
by Michelle Omowaiye
Rams in Recovery, started by my friend Tom Bannard, is a collegiate group of students in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) located at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Just recently, Governor Ralph Northam announced that $675,000 in federal grant money will go towards expanding collegiate recovery programs at eight universities in Virginia.
Rams in Recovery offers space for recovery meetings, organize events and trips, offer recovery housing and scholarships and this group is doing a service project with the goal of creating care bags for the men at The Healing Place.
The … Read more...
Given the sensitivity around topics such as addiction, mental illness, and suicide, meeting professionals should strive to hire mental health speakers who pay attention to safe messaging. So here are some thoughts on how meeting professionals and event planners can find the right behavioral health speaker.
Mental health speakers should avoid graphic descriptions
While you want your speaker to deliver a thoughtful and educational presentation, avoid hiring or inviting mental health speakers who go into graphic detail about suicide method or cleanup which could potentially be triggering, especially for young students and more vulnerable … Read more...