Do you think mental illness will ever lose its taboo?

Question from a high school student after one of my presentations

will mental illness lose its taboo

I would not do what I do if I didn’t think it made a difference. I will admit, however, stripping mental illness of its taboo has been slow and my path has been riddled with rejection and push back. Carrying a 100-pound spiked ball uphill would be easier.

I have noticed been big changes since I’ve been involved with the topic since 2010. Back then, I was focused on that taboo surrounding youth mental illness and substance misuse/addiction. Suicide just wasn’t on my radar and we weren’t hearing about … Read more...

Does therapy actually work?

Question from a high school student after one of my presentations

does therapy work
Question from a high school student

This is a valid concern and I can understand the apprehension a teen would have for seeing a therapist. I think the first step is to adopt an attitude of trying things that are outside your comfort zone. That includes believing you will find a good therapist and then setting the right expectations.

If you go to see a therapist expecting someone to “fix” all your problems and not doing any work on yourself, you will be disappointed. That “I’m not giving up,” … Read more...

A suicide attempt survivor speaks out

by Jeff Watts

Jeff and his kids

My name is Jeff Watts. I am a husband, dad, teacher, co-founder of an orphan ministry, diagnosed with a mental illness, a four-time psych hospital patient, and a suicide attempt survivor.

I’ll start the part of my story having left home with an associate of arts degree in psychology from a community college. I wanted to be a counselor. I went to an out of state university and lived in an apartment on my own away from the support of my parents for the first time.

I also left the support I had …

My review for ‘Slay Like a Mother’

Katherine Wintsch, the author of Slay Like a Mother, and owner of the Mom Complex, was an overachiever. She consistently won awards, trophies, ribbons, praise, top grades and accolades. Every time she felt inferior, she strived for more. Her self worth was defined by what others thought of her and she strived for perfection. Because anything less meant she was not enough.

She had to be the perfect employee, wife, daughter, and mother. Anything less was failure. She kept up the charade for decades hiding what she was sure were her glaring insecurities and imperfections.

Katherine was a person …

Podcast: Life, Death & the Space in Between

Emotionally Naked with Anne Moss Rogers

Dr. Amy Robbins explores lifedeath, and what it all means. She has the unique perspective of a clinical psychologist and medium. Life, Death, and the Space Between podcast is consistently ranked in the top iTunes charts for religion and spirituality, self-help, and health. Take this journey with me and Amy Robbins as we talk about being emotionally naked.


Other episodes and Amy’s website


Mental health speaker for schools

And questions from Cosby high school health students answered.

For college and high school mental health and suicide prevention presentations, I start by telling the story of my youngest son, Charles, who suffered from depression, then addiction and died by suicide.

So the first one-third is my story

How did it all happen? What was he like? Why did he default to drug use? I talk about the cultural differences between my generation and theirs acknowledging the amount of content that comes at them daily.

Next one-third is how our family coped with the grief

I talk …

I need your end of the year stories

I want to present a lot of stories from the tribe at the end of 2019. I’m hoping to get all stories by December 18. You in?

Studies show that telling your story helps move you through your grief. It’s a lot like exposure therapy for PTSD. But those aren’t the only stories I’m looking for.

Are you now in a place where things are going well and you remember a time when it wasn’t? Are you struggling with a child’s addiction? Are you struggling to communicate with a family member who suffers from a mental illness? Is there some … Read more...

The hot potato topic

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...

What to look for in a mental health speaker

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...

Review of the movie, Joker by a mental health advocate

The Joker is a film based on the infamous DC Comic character and stars Joaquin Phoenix as Author Fleck, a troubled comedian who lives on the fringe.

This deep and troubling story of the Batman villain goes into considerable social commentary about the treatment of the mentally ill. Much of this was spot on.

As his support system disintegrates, so does his mental health

The movie focuses on the Joker’s decent into mental illness as his thready and feeble state-supported mental health treatment ends abruptly. With no medication or support for his illness, his psychosis escalates and the line between … Read more...