I am owning my story

by Deborah Brown

The below was shared on a WebEx during COVID remote working where over 200 associates across the US joined this fortune 500 company virtual event.  It was one of our May Mental Health Month events.  We had panelists representing Youth Mental Health, Substance Addiction, and Suicide Prevention.  Anne Moss Rogers graciously joined us to speak on suicide prevention.

So, why I am here with you today?  Because I care.  I care about every single one of you and every single Fortune 500 Company associate not joining us today.  My journey has been long and continues to this … Read more...

I lost the father of my children

by Christine New 

Dennis New died by suicide
Dennis New

When I first met Dennis, we were both in ninth grade at a middle school in Ann Arbor, Michigan and we didn’t like each other very much. I had just graduated from a private school.

We didn’t have any interaction at all. I had my group of friends. He had his. 

In our junior year of high school, we had a class together and ended up sitting next to each other. I believe it was British Literature. Dennis used to bring a different book to class with him every day. He would sit and read … Read more...

What is grief?

by Mary-ellen Viglis

Mary-ellen and her son, DJ who suffered from depression and addiction and died by suicide

Grief has no words
It isn’t tangible
It is inexplicable
It is something I wish I didn’t know intricately
Yet I do…

It is made up of
Tears
Memories
Hugs
Love
Sadness
Good times
Difficult times
Long embraces
Regrets
Promises
Emptiness
Denial
Acceptance
Unfairness
Heartbreak
Shared moments
Missed moments
Unspoken words
Truth
Lies
Beauty
Ugliness
Sadness
Joy
Unforgettable moments
Darkness
Light
Simplicity

Complication
Laughter
Sickness
Healing
Gratitude
Blessings
Loneliness
Mistakes
Successes
More tears
Overflowing
Never ending
Heartbreaking
Constant
Tears
And smiles
And … Read more...

My father died by suicide four months ago

by Kiernan Gallagher, 14 years old
Published with Kiernan’s and her mom’s permission

i lost my dad to suicide
Kiernan and her dad in 2015. Her father died on September 25, 2019

I didn’t return to school for about three weeks and returning was like being held underwater.

When my dad first passed away, I didn’t want the sun to rise. I didn’t want my favorite song to play. I didn’t want to look at the stars — I didn’t even want to eat. I didn’t want to do anything because I lost my dad, my hero, my best friend, and so much more all in … Read more...

Does marijuana use increase teen suicide risk?

In memory of Johnny Stack who died by suicide, November 20, 2019, at age 19

by Laura Stack

Johnny Stack, February 7, 2000 -November 20, 2019

Trigger warning: Strong emotional content and suicide method mentioned.

My cell phone rang at 1:03 AM on Thursday, November 20, 2019, and I woke with a start. I always kept my ringtone volume on full blast so I hear my son Johnny’s late-night calls. I reached over picked up the phone expecting to see my son’s name on the screen.

Instead, it said Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

“Hello?”

The voice on the other end … Read more...

No one can feel it and no one can heal it

by Nida Fatima

I am Nida Fatima, a married, 29-year-old woman living in India.

I believed I cannot do everything right because God had blessed me with a painful illness called bipolar disorder.

As a child, I was physically abused and couldn’t tell my family about it because it was too shameful and I struggled to explain because I was just 5 years old.

My family thought that my behavior was showing symptoms of bipolar. So they didn’t bond with me. This made me so depressed, I completely lost my focus. I was confused about what this illness was exactly. … Read more...

Personal take on COVID and our ‘new normal’

by Tamara Harvey Braswell

When the news of COVID-19 first hit China, I watched with concern, but life continued as normal. When the news hit Italy, that got a little closer to home because Italy is one of my favorite vacation places. Then the virus started to spread like wildfire in the U.S.   

The news was about to become personal when the first few cases were reported in Colorado, where I live.  

I never thought in a million years I would be homebound, working remotely every day, rarely going out, and wearing a facemask when I did.  I NEVER … Read more...

Cutting to cope

by Anjelica Diaz

I was only 13 and when I went through rough times. I had to move away from my home and my dad, and start over at a new school. It did have its perks though. I got to be with my baby brother and sister.

A few weeks in, I was placed in CPS (Child Protective Services) and went to a mental hospital for the first time. I still remember the day–March 17, 2015. It was really scary and I think that’s where all my behaviors started.

I thought about suicide but I’d never attempted it. It … Read more...

Physical distancing instead of social distancing

by Charlotte Moyler

 I started my time of quarantine before the actual outbreak occurred. I had a need to get away for a time of reflection and healing. So, in many ways, I was pre-prepared for a time such as this. Now, after two months, I have learned so much more about myself, family, friends and life. 

I am bothered by the excessive use of the term “Social Distancing”. I feel people are becoming more connected during this time of COVID-9. I prefer to call it “Physical Distancing”. 

This morning, at sunbreak, I sat outside with my tea and the … Read more...

My mental health recovery

by Jessy Rodriguez

I am a graduate student studying mental health counseling at the University of St. Thomas, in Houston, TX. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in human services. Education is everything to me; this was not always the case.

My childhood was marked by trauma and abuse

My siblings and I were placed in foster care. I was removed from my mother’s custody on April 3, 1998, a few weeks before my twelfth birthday and placed in my aunt’s custody for about six months. After leaving my aunt’s house, I was placed in many … Read more...