It’s been 17 years since our son Rand ended his life at only 16

by Elaine Alpert, M.Ed

It was on our younger son’s ninth birthday. You likely know exactly what I mean when I say, “It was the worst day of my life … followed by many more worst days of my life.” Add to that the sleepless nights full of flashbacks … finding Rand with barely a pulse in our backyard, the police accusing us of foul play, and our hospital vigil, praying, begging for him to survive, only to be told it was too late, there was nothing they could do to save our boy.

We’ve all heard the opposite … Read more...

Mother’s day story for grieving moms

I checked in with my friend Kate who lives near me and recently lost a son, Taylor, to suicide. This year’s mother’s day will be her first since her son’s death. Many of us get a Mother’s Day card or letter. But the Mother’s Day cards and letters she got were exceptional.

“Yesterday, I checked the mail and had a letter from Gift of Hope. (Organ donation) Inside was another sealed envelope with a letter from the man that received Taylor’s lungs, as well as a handwritten note from all four of his adopted children and one from his wife. Read more...

Talking About Suicide With Our Patients: Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Lia Gaggino MD and I met when I was the keynote speaker at the AAP, AFSP, NIMH Youth Summit on Suicide Prevention. Dr. Gaggino is a pediatrician who is passionate about youth mental health and this episode of her podcast focuses on preventing youth suicide in honor of mental health month. Take us on your walk today.

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What’s life without you?

by Kiernan Gallagher, 15 years old
Published with her mother’s permission

Trigger warning: Strong emotional content and suicide method mentioned.

One I never wanted to imagine. But instead, I now live it.

They say it gets easier.

It doesn’t. And I knew that from day one. 

It’s been over a year and I still remember everything. I still feel everything.

On September 26, 2019, I didn’t go to bed until four in the morning. I woke up four hours later just to get smacked in the face — reality check, everything actually happened. I’ve never actually told anyone … Read more...

There is no shame in telling someone you are depressed

by Danny Gautama

Danny

Telling someone is not a weakness but an act of courage that makes you stronger.

So often, people are afraid to tell family members or friends about depression. You did not harm anyone. You did not steal from an old lady or rob a bank. You are facing a problem that is hard for you to deal with alone. It can be hard in the long run if, god forbid, it gets worse.

You are not saying anything offensive to others by telling someone you are depressed. You have the right to express yourself if you … Read more...

The most chilling part of Meghan and Harry’s emotionally naked interview

ABC News photo. Meghan and Harry Sussex

The skin color of their child, the fact that Meghan asked for help and didn’t get it was vulnerable, shocking, revealing. And so much more.

How different the perception was from the truth. I’ve learned not to believe speculation and I know from experience more goes on behind closed doors than what we can see. I’ve hovered behind those doors of perception myself, curled up into a ball in despair wondering how to fix my child who was depressed and misusing substances.

Meghan and Harry had to leave the royal family for the … Read more...

Why I Wrote About Losing My Son

by Janice Hoffman

Brian with his sister Jenny in 2000 (photo by Zalewa Photography)

In 2011, my husband and I lost our thirty-five-year-old son Brian to suicide. People have asked me why I wrote my chapbook of poetry, Azaleas in October, about this loss. That’s a very easy question to answer: I wrote because I had to. Anyone who has lost a child understands all too well the devastation that consumes a parent afterwards. It’s so important to talk to others about that type of loss, but I simply couldn’t do it in those early days. I was too … Read more...

Keynote Suicide Prevention Speakers

I was honored to be one of the opening keynote suicide prevention speakers at this youth summit with Christopher Thomas Veal, in February 2021. The focus was to get together stakeholders across the USA and create a blueprint for how healthcare systems can come together to prevent youth suicide.

Chris and I represented the voices of lived experience. How did I see things from the perspective of a parent who had a child who struggled and died by suicide? How did Chris see things from the perspective of someone who struggled?

The following presentations and small workgroups were very … Read more...

Available for preorder

Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk- $29.95

by Anne Moss Rogers & Kimberly O’Brien, PhD, LICSW. Publishes August 2021. Preorder Now.

Description: In Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk, Anne Moss Rogers, and Kimberly O’Brien, PhD, LICSW, empower middle and high school educators with the knowledge and skills to leverage their relationships with students to reduce this threat to life. Educators will learn evidence-based concepts of suicide prevention, … 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...