Are you suicidal after the death of your son or daughter?

It’s not uncommon for a parent to feel suicidal after the death of a child.

In fact, one third of the group of suicide loss survivors I facilitated struggled with thoughts of suicide. While all of my group had lost a child to suicide, it’s not uncommon for parents who’ve lost a child to any cause of death. It’s so hard and in some parents, it can bring on feelings of failure and loss so acute it triggers thoughts of suicide.

No matter how a child dies, there is a correlation to early death of parents whether it’s from an accident, disease … Read more...

James River students seek to raise awareness of teen suicide

by Ellie Mast and Aaliyah Adkins, Co-Creators of River Jam
Seniors in the Leadership and International Relations Center at JRHS

River Jam Details
Where: In the James River High School senior parking lot
When: Saturday, March 10th, 2018 from 1pm-4pm

As part of our Leadership and International Relations Center curriculum, we were tasked with creating a 60-hour service project that embodies the four cornerstones of leadership: perspectives, communications, ethics, and service. We spent countless hours thinking of what kind of event we should create that would benefit a charity that inspired us. After seeing the devastating toll of mental illnesses … Read more...

Remember when I was on the other side?

“Life can crush your perfect world in under a second.”
—Charles Aubrey Rogers, from the rap song, Hell on Earth

I can hardly remember the days before I lost Charles. And when I do, it feels like a lifetime ago. Centuries even. How did my life get divided in half like that?  Like my other life is a book all by itself, sitting on another shelf in some other house.

What was I like? Did I know to ask moms about their children after they died? And did I ever say things like, “He is in a better place?” Was … Read more...

My first suicide prevention workshop at NIMH

suicide prevention speaker from national institute of mental health
Elizabeth Ballard Ph.D Staff Scientist NIMH; Maryland Pao, MD, Clinical Director NIMH; Lisa Horowitz, Ph D, MPH, Staff Scientist NIMH; David Brent, MD, University of Pittsburg; Anne Moss Rogers, Emotionally Naked LLC

Suicide Prevention Speaker

Apparently, I was their first, too. The first suicide loss survivor to speak at such an event at National Institute of Mental Health.

I was the presentation at the end of some brilliant presentations and exciting new research on suicide prevention, creating treatment plans and information on ketamine, lack of sleep and suicide, and the ASQ screening tool. Dr. David Brent has an adolescent … Read more...

Coming back to life after the most devastating loss of my life

It’s been a slow process feeling human after my son, Charles’ suicide in June of 2015. You can’t hit the gas pedal to speed yourself through it. You can’t go around it. You can’t drink yourself through it.

I can’t say it’s something you go though either. It goes through you and you just have to accept it.

Those days, weeks, months after the death of my child felt like my soul had been ripped from my chest, tossed into the road and run over by a tractor trailer. For us, it wasn’t easier when he was alive. The last … Read more...

We are surviving the unsurvivable

by Christine Dudek

It is almost one year since my most favorite boy in the entire world left us with a giant hole in our lives.

I am still here and surviving somehow. What I might write?  What will I share about my life? Joe and my girls – Kayleigh and Julia (Jules)– are living though the same emotional brutality as I am; but I won’t speak to their pain or their grief or their hearts. That’s theirs to tell if and when they choose.

Some days I feel a little bit devoid of anything. I think it is self-protection … Read more...

I used to fantasize about my funeral

by Courtney Paré ND

By the time I was 15 years old I was fantasizing about my funeral regularly. The nice things people would say about me.  Hearing the positive ways I impacted their life during my “short time” here on Earth.  How I was so loved and had had so much going for me.  How greatly I will be missed.

As a young teenager, I remember when I would hear stories about someone passing away, people had nothing but nice things to say about them.

And I wanted that! I wanted to feel loved, accepted and worthy. I used … Read more...

Sadly, 2018 Virginia Legislature voted to keep law that states suicide is a crime

Here is the latest on this in 2020, now called HB 1063.

Group that went to the General Assembly to eradicate that old law

HB 42 Suicide; abolishes common-law crime.
Introduced by: Kaye Kory in Subcommittee

Summary as introduced:
Abolish the common-law crime of suicide. Suicide is currently a common-law crime in Virginia, although there is no statutorily prescribed punishment.

Currently, there is no state that by statute makes the completion of suicide a crime and the majority of states have gradually repealed the common … Read more...

He promised not to attempt suicide again

This is an impossible and un-keepable promise.

I remember talking to a friend of Charles’ who had attempted suicide and saying something like this. When we say, “Don’t do that again,” we think it lets the other person know how much we care.

We want them to guarantee they won’t hurt or scare us again and we can’t imagine life without them and want them to know that. We hope we are communicating we’d miss them when they are gone. But I think the person to whom I said it felt shamed at a point when she already felt that … Read more...

Voices for Change Podcast

Technical glitches at the start so once you hit play, you drag the little circle forward to about 4:45 or so.

I actually “met” Becca Lombardo on Twitter. She, like me, has been a mental health advocate for a long time. Rebecca suffers from bipolar disorder and has written two books on the subject. She and her husband, Joe, host this show to combat the issue of stigma associated with mental illness. I was honored to have been asked to be a guest on the show as a mother of a child who suffered mental illness and died by suicide.… Read more...