The Seuss-ing of suicide

Copyright Dr. Seuss Green Eggs & Ham
Picture copyright Dr. Seuss Green Eggs & Ham

We don’t talk suicide with neighbors or teens.

Not with our friends or with our tweens.

Nothing triggers more fear.

Everyone wants to steer clear!

Never taking the time.

Makes suicide rates climb.

The morning isn’t good.

And neither is the evening

We don’t talk on vacation.

Or in a business situation.

Not at a wedding or on a train.

Not in a car or on a bus.

Not while we’re running or when we’re sitting.

Not in a box.

Not with a fox.

Not in a house.

Not with a mouse.

So when is a good time?

After a … Read more...

3 short, easy-read guides to help with a troubled teen

what-do-i-sayThese are all short, easy reads. Number 3 in only 66 pages. The others are glorified booklets.

I know the internet has a wealth of information but at times it felt overwhelming and it helped to be holding one single piece of literature that had been proven to work for tens of thousands of families.

Numbers 1 and 2 apply more to those with a loved one with addiction. Number 3 is great guide for anyone with a teen. It’s not meant for kids with issues but I think it is a template for communicating that can work with any … Read more...

The invisible kid

From Anne Moss: This is from a young man who attempted suicide in February 2016.

It so happened my article in the Richmond Times Dispatch ran during that time and his mom read it and reached out to me. Fast forward 9 months and that suicide attempt survivor asked if he could post this on my blog.

As human beings we want to be loved and accepted. It’s a human emotion at the core of our very being. And when that doesn’t happen, despair sets in. As many as 30% of kids who attend a school, go weeks without another Read more...

Dear friend

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The last time I saw you, my son was alive. My son Charles grew up with yours. Yet when we ran into each other, you didn’t mention his name. In fact, you looked like you were afraid of me. I think if you had had enough warning, you would have avoided me all together.

When I lost my son, I did not erase him from my family tree. Nor did I erase him from my memory. But when I run into people who say nothing, it makes me feel like my child never counted for anything.

You worry that you’ll … Read more...

We have some work to do. An interesting experiment

I posted this recently on my community page so I could run this as a “boosted post” to see what responses I would get. I excluded “friends” of the page (although some of you saw it this second go ’round).

I did choose an audience and chose those who had frequented certain pages which were in the same vein as my messages here. I spent $10 for this test. I ran this test November 4, 2016.

The purpose?

I wanted a barometer read on how those outside my circles were thinking on the subject of suicide. Kind of like what … Read more...

Overnight, my life changed. So where am I headed?

compassWhen I heard the words, “He hung himself,” my life changed forever. I didn’t even know I could change so fast. But it was overnight.

It took me a while to figure out what to do. I have been in advertising and marketing for two decades starting with a small agency for 6 months and then the Martin Agency.

I’ve been in digital marketing since 1995 when Google was a blinking cursor on a black screen.

I have been a co-owner at Impression Marketing since 2010 when I teamed up with Howard Deskin, my amazing business partner. I have always … Read more...

So what was Charles thinking up until he took his own life?

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It’s been over a year and piece by piece I am getting the picture of what Charles was thinking those last days. Where he went. Why he did it. How he felt. This one has been churning in my head like a hamster wheel. So I have to let it out.

He was supposed to go with a group of others to the west end of Richmond around the end of May 2015. He had been living at a house with others suffering from heroin addiction and they stuck together like family. A friend of his said he refused to go with … Read more...

Suicide is not an act of selfishness

suicide

Thinking it’s an act of selfishness is a lack of understanding of what suicide is.

Even before Charles died by suicide, I did not subscribe to the “selfish” notion. I even remember him walking into my office and telling me that a friend’s dad had died by suicide and Charles said he thought it was selfish.

Then he asked what I thought.

Now I’m not sure whether he actually thought it was selfish or was testing me. Seeing what I thought. I don’t know that I will ever know for sure. My gut tells me he wanted to know whether … Read more...

Presented suicide prevention program to YMCA Leader’s Club

Watching Charles rap the song, "Letter to God"
Watching Charles rap the song, “Letter to God”

I was honored this evening to present my story and my social media based suicide prevention program to the Swift Creek YMCA group in Chesterfield County. Before my very eyes, I saw stigma leave the building. Tosha Frye, fellow Beacon Tree board member, joined me and told her personal story and delivered her message of hope.

I met teens willing to reach out to others. Some of them spoke up and told their stories. We cried and we laughed. They are a very special and diverse group with great leadership. It’s a service club that takes … Read more...

Suicide screening at a pediatric practice is a first

Hear what Dr. Abernathy and Dr. Keel say about the test.

Dr. Ted Abernathy and Dr. Scott Keel of Pediatric & Adolescent Health Partners (PAHP) talk about the 5-question suicide screening test through the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) that has shown remarkable results, identified preteens and teens with suicidal thoughts and referred them for life-saving mental health services. They have been using the screening test for over a year.

This screening had previously been used in Emergency Rooms to identify teens at risk for suicide and showed efficacy in doing so.

Based on results from the new questionnaire,

Read more...