What does emotionally naked mean?

The closest definition is vulnerability. But emotionally naked actually goes deeper than that. When I wrote the newspaper article about our family’s tragedy that went viral, “vulnerable” wasn’t enough to express how exposed I was. I had bared it all, stripped away the facade, and laid bare my soul in public.

It had taken me five months to write those 1,200 words but when it first published, I wasn’t proud, I was terrified. Because at first, that’s how it feels to be emotionally naked. So how do you know when it’s the right time to tell your story? When you … Read more...

The best example of cognitive reframing

I might add that it’s also comment of the year for 2021 so far. As many of you know and some who don’t, I get a lot of comments through YouTube from people, (young people mostly) who are searching for a way to end their life. I don’t advertise the video and it’s only found through search, the goal of which is to encourage this person to think of it from another point of view. The video does not offer the instructions they seek but competes with videos that do. Some of the young people who post on the video … Read more...

Just enjoy the moment

You may have found some peace, finally. But you are sure it won’t last. As a result, you put your happiness on hold because you are sure that peace will be shattered so why get all cuddled up with it when you know it won’t last?

The truth is, you can’t enjoy it if you are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. And why do that? Happiness is not this forever eutopia, a field full of daisies that you skip through with the perfect other carrying a basket of muffins and money. It’s not a forever home because … Read more...

Step Away

by Bart Bright

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bart-and-family.jpg
Kevin Bright is on the right

On August 14, 2018, my son, Kevin, died by suicide. He was 29 years old. Kevin suffered from depression and cannabis-induced psychosis, (a diagnosis in the DSM-5).

Kevin told my wife and me about his cannabis use at 15

He agreed to get help. Over the next 14 years, Kevin participated in many recovery programs. He experienced periods of health and happiness while in recovery. Unfortunately, after a while, he would go back to his drug of choice, high THC cannabis. As he increased his cannabis use we started witnessing psychotic … Read more...

Virtual games for teachers to help students engage

Our students who are not in school, and even those who are not, are struggling in this pandemic. Providing a few minutes of connection before class starts can help your students be more engaged with the lesson plan after. By the way, if you are a parent, you can play these games at home, too.

As Kim O’Brien PhD and I were writing the book, Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk, we interviewed teachers and school counselors and this sparked a number of ideas you can use in a virtual classroom to … Read more...

Be the captain of your emotions not captive to them

by Dana

Emotional stress, discord, confusion, can get so deep and out of control, you cannot find a way out. That torment can lead you to think the only way to end this torment is to end it all.

A person can learn some emotion control.

It’s like learning how to become your own counselor

It’s like a one-step program. You learn to see your emotions, you separate each one, and you start asking, I know I am angry, I’m ok with being angry, why am I angry? Is there a way I can change the situation I’m angry about? … Read more...

What I put in my self-harm safety kit

by Ayushree

Note from Anne Moss: A self-harm safety box is a kit that a person puts together as a self-help strategy. This was sent to me by Ayushree and she details the contents of her safety box which she has so far found helpful in breaking her self-harm habit.

Self-harm safety box

To make my own self-harm safety kit, I took a shoebox, covered it in white paper and made doodles all over it. I didn’t write anything on it because otherwise, my mom would know.

Doodles are one of my hobbies and it helps me to relieve stress. … Read more...

Priyanka’s coping strategies for working through depression

by Priyanka Sarkar, chemistry and biology graduate, India

Priyanka’s daily journal

Before focusing on any particular strategies, I want to emphasize that loving yourself is more important than anything on this list. Be your own cheering section and make sure you do that every day. Treat yourself with love and respect. If you do, others will, too. This phase tests your patience thoroughly but trusts me it ends (even though it may not seem like it) with you attaining wisdom. Now the coping strategies that helped me through depression.

1) Acknowledging and establishing a connection with my feelings

Generally, we … Read more...

Concrete strategies that helped me work through my teen depression

Desmond Herzfelder is a freshman at Harvard University majoring in applied math and visual art.

Note from Anne Moss: Kim O’Brien and I interviewed Desmond for our book, Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. We asked several young adults who struggled as teens how they survived a dark period in their lives and the coping strategies they used to find their way out. This is Desmond’s thoughtful response.

by Desmond Herzfelder

1) Prioritizing my happiness!

This, above all else, made the difference for me.

2) Reaching out for help.

I cannot say … Read more...

Fifty thousand dollars!

Markel representative hands NAMI Executive Director, Kathy Harkey a check for $50,000.

I am a board member for NAMI Virginia and newly appointed fundraising chair. I did a panel event about mental health earlier this year, hosted by Markel Corporation employee Deborah and Mary A. Deborah told her mental health story for the first time and it was incredible and brave and her co-workers were in disbelief that the person they see as so together had struggled with addiction and mental health issues.

Later that year, Markel sponsored the NAMI virtual walk. I introduced Portia, one of the staff at … Read more...