How teachers can support grieving students (tips specific to suicide)

Many of these tips are specific to suicide, however, most of them will work for any grief event.

Many schools will react to a death or suicide loss by bringing in outside counselors. And while that’s with the best intentions, the truth is, students are going to want to talk to you, the person they know, and not a stranger. Being together and connecting is an important part of the grieving process and school is one place, if not the only place, where this can happen consistently over a period of time.

The goal is not to make teachers grief … Read more...

Suicide Prevention in Primary Care: Save a Life with Dustin Bogen PA-C

Dustin Bogan PA-C of Pediatric and Adolescent Health Partners talks about suicide screening before and during COVID, the rise in results, and the lives saved. He has some amazing stories and it’s worth your time to listen.

This one also focuses on how his practice, the first in the country, uses the ASQ Suicide Screening Tool from NIMH, the results they’ve gotten.

  • During COVID-19 pandemic, there were 2-3 consults per day for depression and anxiety even with the limited patient visits and from there, at least 3-4 of those had suicidal ideation
  • 2-6 people are struggling with thoughts of suicide
Read more...

Video: Amanda talks about the dangers of Adderall and Suicide

This video was originally shared with me by Tara’s mother, Catherine McMahon Miles who lost her daughter Tara Marie McMahon (12/18/98-2/21/21) to depression that was complicated by an Adderall addiction which led to her suicide. Tara had been off Adderall for a year but had self-medicated her depression with it previously and she had called Adderall her “death certificate.”

In Tara’s journals, she asked her family to share her story to help others and the video was created by her best friend in college, Amanda, and originally posted on Facebook to warn others who might be thinking that Adderall … Read more...

My journey back to life after struggles with thoughts of suicide

by Graham

Dear Anne-

I’ve been meaning to mail you for a little while now. Last year, you really helped me when I hit a deep low with a very traumatic situation I was dealing with in my life. I was thinking about suicide because the mental and emotional pain I was in was so intense, and felt permanent like it was never going to ease or end.

I’ve learned a lot since then. Researched a lot about how I came to feel that way in the first place, and things I needed to do to recover. And slowly, very … Read more...

My Wish: What people need to know about suicide–love, loss, and hope

by Chano Itwaru

My tall and handsome 33-year-old son Kevin was smart, friendly, and charming. He was a biomedical engineer with a charismatic, dazzling smile, gentle personality. As a talented musician and artist he played the sitar, guitar, trumpet, piano, flute, Japanese Shakuhachi (flute), accordion, harmonium, Djembe (African drums), he produced many paintings. But Kevin had a secret. When he was 21 years old, he was diagnosed with clinical depression.

My son suffered in silence rather than face what he feared–the judgment and rejection of friends and family. He slowly isolated himself from lifelong friends. It was heartbreaking to watch … Read more...

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.

Read more...

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...