Emotionally Naked Speaker Demo Reel

I don’t have the TEDx yet but I needed to do a demo reel so this is mine. This was not easy for me to put out there. I hope, going forward, it is easier.

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I lost my sister, Lindsay Pollack, to suicide

by Ren Bell

Lindsay started suffering depression as early as middle school according to friends

About 12 years ago, my life shattered into pieces. My sister and her boyfriend killed themselves in my dad’s car. The same Nissan Altima that I gleefully drove at age 16, earning a speeding ticket on Powhite Parkway.

When my mom called with the news of my sister’s death, I slumped on to the floor in a jumble of gasps and hot tears. All I could say was “no, no, no” over and over again. I pounded my fists on the carpet, my vision blurred. … Read more...

Nobody wants me

I am in a rejection business on two sides. On the one hand I have been trying to secure some paid speaking engagements. And the other is trying to get a book published.

From the speaking angle, I’m often “not right for their event,” “time isn’t good,” “not a good fit,” and “I think it’s fine to talk about all this. Just not around my audience,” and my favorite, “can you make your story more positive?” If I played some of these scenes back on video, they’d see it in themselves. They would cringe and say, “What was I thinking?” … Read more...

If someone wants to suicide, you can’t stop them #MythBustingMondays

If someone wants to suicide, you can't stop them #MythBustingMonday

Myth: There is really nothing you can do to help someone who’s truly suicidal
Fact: The understanding, support, and hope that you offer can be a suicidal person’s most important lifeline

I was at a big event and a famous mental health advocate said, “There is really nothing you can do to help someone who’s determined to kill themselves.” I was shocked. While it’s true you don’t have control over what another human being does, it’s rarely true that someone is so “determined” to kill themselves that your intervention has no chance of preventing it.

There are people that plan … Read more...

Where was God when my child died?

by Tamara Rollison and Lloyd Braswell

Where was God when my child died?

Where was God when my 19-year-old son Logan died from severe bleeding and broken bones hours after he slammed his truck into a tree?   I think God went on vacation that summer morning and left no miracles behind, at least not for Logan and me.   Against my will, my soul was deposited on the grief trail, a journey no parent should ever have to experience…but many of us do. 

Even the most perfect of parents and best of kids draw the short stick in life and bad things happen.  I used to have high … Read more...

Call for sponsors of youth mental health

Beacon Tree Foundation, advocates for youth mental health

Trees of Hope 2019

Date: Sat, 04/27/2019
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Location: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garde
Tickets$50 each

Every year, the nonprofit for which I’ve been part of for nine years now has an event called Trees of Hope. It’s a youth concert with some short presentations about the work we do.

This fundraiser supports a program called OnRamp that pays for youth psychological evaluations and gap funding for treatment when insurance, medicaid, or other government programs don’t pay. We call it OnRamp Family Funding because you can’t access a highway without an onramp. And … Read more...

Horowitz – Asking about Suicide in Healthcare Settings

I subscribe to AFSP, American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, emails and I got one the other day on Project 2025. They have a goal of reducing suicide by twenty percent by 2025–a bold and ambitious goal given that suicide rates went up more than 30% in half of states in the U.S. since 1999.

They’ve earmarked four areas to focus on and since I do a lot with healthcare systems, I clicked on that and holy toledo my friend Dr. Lisa Horowitz was the star of the video. She and I are co-presenting with Jeff Bridge at the … Read more...

Free ebook. Coping Strategies for Grief and Loss

by Anne Moss Rogers, Karla Helbert LPC, and Charlotte Moyler

I’ve had a lot of requests for this ebook in the last couple of weeks and wanted to get it up here for those of you who are struggling.

Thank you to both Karla and Charlotte for being contributing authors and to Mehmet for the cover art.

Cover art is copyright protected and reprinted with permission for the #griefheart project by Mehmet Sahin Altug. Cool Colors in Cary Town is his store.

Click the purple button for the free download. Once you sign up, … Read more...

Not emotionally ready for it

So I was called for jury duty. Again. They apparently randomly choose prospective jurors. I’ve lived in the city three years and have been called twice to serve although I have not officially been on a jury yet. None of my neighbors have been asked once. Random my @$$.

I don’t know that I can say much about the case I was polled for even though I was not chosen. When they asked me the question if I believed a police officer might not tell the truth, it took me back to the time when a rookie police officer did … Read more...

Stop ‘should-ing’ yourself

After Charles’ addiction and suicide, I looked back with all the wisdom and all the facts of “after” and told myself I should have done something this way or that. I tortured myself with it. The coulda, woulda, shoulda consumed me for months and years.

I blamed myself for something I did, something I said, things I didn’t say or do. People tried to talk me out of it. They’d swear up and down that it wasn’t my fault. But that guilt baggage is part of the process of accepting the unfair end I’d been given.

But it’s not just … Read more...