Booking speaking engagements now

Creating a demo reel and should have my TEDx video in February. I sorely need video and that will be a focus in 2019.

Negotiating contracts now for spring and fall and if you know of an event looking for a speaker, do keep me in mind. See the speakers page for more info.

Karla Helbert, MS, LPC and I will be doing a Coping Strategies for Grief workshop at Ellwood Thompson locally in Richmond, VA in late February. Date to be announced soon. Checking on room availability and we will announce here and on our facebook pages.

And … Read more...

First study on Preventure in the U.S. is funded!

VCU CCTR Endowment Fund

This is a program we have worked to get funded since 2016. And while I’ve spent three years trying to bring it to Virginia, Jasmin Vassileva Phd has spent seven years. VCU Institute of Drug & Alcohol Studies and Beacon Tree Foundation are behind the grant.

This will be the first study in the U.S. on this intervention.

Preventure is an evidence-based prevention intervention included in the first-ever US Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.

The intervention is associated with 30-80% reductions in alcohol and drug use in adolescents in schools at 3-year follow-up. It … Read more...

What is an eating disorder from two people who’ve suffered ED

Kendall Baker recently wrote an article that inspired questions about what an eating disorder is. It’s a difficult disorder to understand and challenging from the standpoint that with other “addiction” type mental illnesses because you can’t abstain from food. One has to eat to survive. Michelle posted a question and these two young ladies answered it.

From Carly

My name is Carly and I’ve been in recovery from an eating disorder for almost 6 years now. I struggled with anorexia as well and still have a difficult time explaining it.

It’s almost as if there is another person in your … Read more...

What if we thought of mental illness as a benefit?

The Evolutionary Advantages of Mental Illness | Frank King | TEDxRanneySchool

I always thought Charles’ talent was a gift that came with his mental illness. How many creative people suffer from depression, anxiety, addiction, or bipolar? This TEDx talk by Frank King makes you think about this premise.

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My best friend died of anorexia

by Kendall Baker

Trigger warning: Strong Emotional Content.  

My best friend died of anorexia
My best friend died of anorexia

I kissed the top of her head and walked toward the door.  I paused.  I knew this was it.  I turned around to look at her and try to memorize her image, an image I barely recognized due to her physical state.  

“I’ll see you later,” I said. “I will.”

Katie smiled a forced smile and nodded.  She knew what I meant.

I let the door close behind me.  I was twenty nine and she thirty, but I knew that was the last time I’d … Read more...

#IfYouCouldSeeMe Podcast with Erin Mahone and Anne Moss Rogers

Honored to be on Erin Mahone’s podcast, #Ifyoucouldseeme focused on mental illness. At first the sound is distant but it improves. Support this podcast by subscribing.

58 minutes

Listen in iTunes

Listen on Podchaser

#ifyoucouldseeme podcast

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Day #2 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

The second coping strategy is “Write”

After Charles died, others didn’t seem to want to talk about him. Or let me talk about him. I kept wondering, “Why can’t I talk about my son?”

So two  months after he died, I started writing an article for the newspaper about his death. We had just moved out of the house where he had grown up because it had sold four days before he stunned us by killing himself.

He died June 2015. I started writing August 2015. The first version was sloppy and pointless but I kept writing it, revising it, … Read more...

Day #1 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

The first one is “Get some exercise.”

While I was editing that video, I felt like blowing something up. Actually, I just wanted to blow up iMovie. Other times of the year, I have a little more patience.

Karla Helbert, a grief expert, will be co-authoring many of these posts.

This is for anyone who is coping with adversity– loss of a child or other loved one to suicide or overdose, someone else’s substance use disorder,  your own mental illness, SUD, or thoughts of suicide.

So onto coping strategies

Some of you don’t want to get out of bed, … Read more...

Are you ready to be emotionally naked in public?

People search in google when they want information. Sometimes they type in, “my son died from overdose,” or “kill myself after my daughter’s suicide,” “my girlfriend killed herself,” “I relapsed and no one loves me,” “bipolar suicide attempt,” “my father killed himself,” “2 years clean” and so on.

Every day this happens. They search on Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Yahoo, Bing, and even smaller search engines. All are in search of connection that you provide with your emotionally naked stories and wisdom.

People will sometimes search by your child’s name if they know that child has died. And … Read more...

Depression and addiction do not discriminate

by Tiffani Borello

Trigger warning: Suicide method mentioned briefly

On the left: When I was using. On the right, me in recovery.

As I’m writing this, I have tears falling down my face. I lost my best friend, Charles Rogers, to suicide while he was withdrawing from opiates. It’s been a little over three years since Charles died and it still eats me up inside till this day that I missed his call before he died by hanging.

We lost another good friend, one of Charles best friends, Mike Stewart, who also died. They pulled the plug after an unfortunate … Read more...