What’s a teen to do?

A friend of yours is depressed,
Cutting, binging, purging, drugging,
Suffering suicidal thoughts,
And you don’t know what to do.

You’re not supposed to fix this,
But you also can’t dismiss it.
You have ears,
I know you do,
I’ve seen them attached
To your hairdo.
I know you’re able to listen,
It’s so easy to do!

You can encourage that peer
To tell an adult that she holds dear.
It might just be a mother,
A sister or a brother,
A teacher or a preacher,
Or the aunt with a hair transplant.

Then there’s always cousin Ed
who wears … Read more...

A morbid list

the listWhen I found out Charles was addicted to heroin and he was out of the house due to having walked out of detox, the fear that he would die overtook my life. I could barely function. I was immobilized by fear. There were times I had trouble breathing. No amount of yoga and running was doing it for me and I had to find some relief to the relentless premonitions, fear and despair.

So I made a list. What if he did die? What would I do first? So it had three things on it which I struggle to remember … Read more...

Cosby High School is the first to pilot the #umatterchallenge!

 

Check out the video the teens did! Thanks to Alex Chaffee, teen leader and member of the Swift Creek YMCA Leader’s Club for her help in leading the charge on this social media mental illness acceptance and suicide prevention program! And to all the students who stood up against the stigma of mental illness.

I doubt I could have gotten a team of adults to do this video. So who’s gonna erase stigma? High school students like these guys!

If you want to bring this simple, 2-week program to your school, contact me. This program is through Beacon Read more...

Charles wanted to live

The hardest part of living with Charles’ suicide is knowing he didn’t want to die. The truth is, that most who attempt or complete a suicide don’t want to kill themselves. They simply want to end their relentless emotional pain.

In piecing together that final day, I know my son wanted to live and wanted help. He didn’t ask for it directly but he certainly sent off flares that sailed right over our heads because suicide was not on our radar.

Emotionally, our own brains were frozen on what to do

Charles hinted at suicide in texts to me like … Read more...

Stigma writes me a letter

Hi Anne Moss,

I hear you are fighting me. So how’s that going? Sort of like taking salt out of the ocean by the teaspoon, isn’t it?

I admire that you have the audacity to take me on. People are so set in their ways, so invested in their fundamental black and white belief system, I won’t fall easily.

Denial is part of my charm, judgment so crucial to my success and shame is where I thrive. I flourish in an environment where people react only to the latest crisis and then forget it two weeks later. This culture is … Read more...

The #umatterchallenge

This challenge starts on Feb 21, 2016. You can sign up now and you can sign up any time after that.

Program inspiration

Charles Aubrey Rogers died by suicide June 5, 2015. He was 20 years old and suffered from depression, anxiety and ultimately addiction.

He was a creative genius and one of the funniest and most popular kids in high school. Yet he died by suicide which shows us that what you see on the outside can be covering up a storm of emotions on the inside. If there was one consistent theme about Charles, it was that he … Read more...

Life cut short heart— #griefheart number 215


Charles’ life was sadly cut short, but love remains. And it always will. Just because I lost my child to suicide, doesn’t mean I stopped loving him.

My childhood friend and schoolmate, Leigh, saw this in Dupont Forest a few weeks ago and sent it. Pretty incredible find.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on this blog by#griefheart category.

Be part of the village. Subscribe to this blog

10 things I learned from Charles

 

Read more...

Teens and Young Adults: How to help your friend with depression?

how can you help

Teens and young adults ask me this question a lot. They have a friend who is confiding in them. That friend may be cutting, thinking of suicide, doing a lot of drugs, having trouble sleeping or just really depressed lately.

This is for those of you thoughtful enough to listen to that friend who is suffering. If suicide is an eminent threat, then you listen with compassion, call the suicide hotline and get them to the next level of care. Sometimes that means calling 911 or the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. This podcast is a good one for having … Read more...

This is my mental health story

coldplay albumJule is 15 years old and from Germany. She submitted this #griefheart and I asked her if she wanted to do a post about herself.  So many who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses find relief in music. I know for Charles it was also a lifeline. I think this shows an incredible sense of hope, self awareness and maturity. 

Like many others, it started with school bullying

I have always been rather worrisome, nervous and thoughtful, but I was ten years old when things started to get bad.

I was in sixth grade and one of the best … Read more...

Those final tweets

In those last few weeks, I was reading Charles’ twitter to make sure he was still alive. He didn’t tweet anything after June 3. While we didn’t hear about his suicide until June 5, I think he died on June 4 because I did talk to him that afternoon and had a hard time understanding him.

I thought those tweets indicated he was headed to “rock bottom,” from his addiction, meaning he’d get tired of being out there and reach out for help. I know now those tweets were really “invitations” to ask him if he was thinking of suicide. … Read more...