I need your stories

Your stories are important and some of the top performers on Google when others are struggling. I’m looking for stories about grief from loss of a loved one by suicide or addiction, mental health challenges, innovative strategies for either, stories of lived experience and creative ideas I’ve not thought of.

Guidelines and submit here

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Supporting a 1:250 counselor ratio in public schools

by Kathryn Haines and Anna

Note from Anne Moss. I’m supporting candidates, red or blue, who support mental health, including addiction support. Kat Haines is running for Chesterfield County School Board in Virginia. I hope you will support these candidates, too. Because nothing is going to change if people who don’t get it are making the decisions.

They say you know more people when you have kids in school than you do at any other time in your life. As I collect people’s stories, their struggles with mental health emerge as a theme, not only in my own family, but … Read more...

Is your teenager prepared for the college transition?

I don’t think our educational system does a great job of preparing students for this. Colleges make a lot of effort but we as parents get caught up in the excitement and buying bedding and other dorm decor and our own emotions, we forget how they might feel.

So think about it from their standpoint for a moment. They’ve had the same set of friends for twelve years and now they are headed somewhere new with few people they know. They have to do everything on their own–laundry, buy books, find classes, follow a schedule and manage a calendar. Oh … Read more...

How other medical conditions affect my mental health

by Tammy Ozolins

Coping with a mental illness like bipolar disorder can be tough and I have had to make some hard decisions in my life as a result. I’ve also have had to deal with other medical problems on top of this which can add to my rollercoaster of emotions.

When I first started my cycle, I would get severe cramps and would often throw up the first day. I remember missing school for a day or two when my cycle would start and lie on the couch with a heating pad to calm down the cramps. My cycle … Read more...

The difference between teen angst and mental illness

Since Adolescence is often the onset of mental illness it can be difficult to discern from the typical behavior of the age group. A certain amount of moodiness and risk-taking is expected since teens think of themselves as invincible.

Prior to tenth grade, Charles was a joiner and then stopped being as engaged in drama and school clubs around tenth grade. Little by little there was one more clue and I would make an excuse to myself that everything was OK even though my gut was screaming at me. We did seek help and we didn’t get good help, unfortunately. … Read more...

Why I decided to tell my students about my Mental Illness

by Tammy Ozolins

When I started to accept my mental illness diagnosis, managing, coping, and recovery began.  I also said I was going to make sure the road I took would help fight the stigma and help others dealing with a mental illness.

Our counseling department asked if any staff member wanted to make a video about something our students would probably not know about us. That’s when I decided to tell them about my struggle with the depression part of my illness. I actually cope and manage with Bipolar 2, but I teach middle school so I did not … Read more...

Do any of you have suggestions?

I tend to do really well with women’s groups. If you have a suggestion of a conference that hires keynote speakers or would be a good conference that pays expenses and might be a good one to get referral gigs?

Looking for suggestions, introductions, leads. If you have ever done planning and want to tell me what event planners are looking for in terms of topics, I’d love to hear that, too. Do leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Professional speaker site is at this link where you’ll see the topics.

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It’s so hard to see your child in an altered state of mind

teen suicide
This is one of the last photos of Charles before he died

I came downstairs and walked into the den and Charles was lying on the floor at weird angles. My heart panicked then dropped to the floor. I thought he was dead and immediately checked his pulse.

He was alive but had been so drunk he passed out on the floor. He was fifteen and had actually been angry with me about something it this was his rebellious reaction to our argument. We had a conversation later and I told him that it did hurt me but “vindictive drinking” … Read more...

Just Listen

If you want to prevent someone from killing themselves? Just listen.

If you want to help someone in recovery? Just listen.

If you want to help your friend who has suffered the death of a child? Just listen.

It’s something this extreme extrovert had to work at and a support group helped me find that organ called the ear. I learned that I got more out of the group if I used my ears more than my mouth.

In my presentations, I emphasize listening. Afterwards, people tell me their stories because that’s what they do once they hear mine. My … Read more...

Divorce your toxic friends

by Danny Gautama

As a man who continues to write for mental health organizations, a big part of my consistency and my drive to help others is having the greatest group of people who encourage and inspire me. I am always excited and passionate to send my articles to help others.

My group is always optimistic, they are the best at what they do, they don’t project any negativity on me, and they are supporting, kind and have my best interest at heart. It’s a no brainer as to why I surround myself with these people.

I am also blessed …