A Dance with the Devil. My son’s decades-long battle with addiction and recovery.

by Connie

Connie

New Year’s Day 2020…my cell phone rings, I recognize the number. It is our son, who has been in an addiction spiral for the past eight months. 

Mom, if I don’t get out of Richmond I am going to die.”

Another New Year starting with the same message for the past 15 years. With each request, rehab, and relapse my husband and I had grown weary from the emotional, financial, and spiritual drain this disease had inflicted upon our family. We had learned detachment, setting boundaries, quit enabling, and threw out tough love methods.

We … Read more...

Judgments and Grief

We all make them. Judgments and assumptions. And then we make those judgments and react emotionally to them. Once it swirls around in our heads marinating, we can get really angry or sad over these thoughts. 

So for example, “Jane” recently shared that she was struggling with her grief after the loss of a close buddy to suicide because she thought her friends thought she should “be over it by now.” She had not known this person but for a few months, not long enough to be so torn up about it so why was she letting it still bother … Read more...

Chapters 11 and 12 of the teacher’s guide to preventing suicide book

Password protected page for those who have purchased the book, Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk by Anne Moss Rogers and Kim O’Brien.

To download the pdf versions of the last two chapters (11 & 12) with clickable links to the resources mentioned in the book and printable pages of the worksheets, scripts, activities, surveys, and quizzes.

  1. Enter the password you see on page XXI of the book.
  2. Once you enter the password below, you will see a short form where you enter your first name and email address.
  3. Then the link
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Emotionally Naked book offers

Pre-Order Offer For a Limited Time:

Once it goes on sale on August 24, 2021, these offers will only be for bulk orders! We know that transitions are triggers for suicidal behavior for adolescents and young adults, so why not use these tips for parents and teachers to help ease the transition? The mindfulness activities offer ideas on how to create connection in the classroom for a foundation of student wellness

Click here to get the two Free Guides

  • 25 Mindfulness & Discovery Activities for Classrooms
  • Tips for a Better Back to School Transition: For parents and educators
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Town Hall on Addiction Recovery

As board members for 2 End the Stigma, many of us attended this town hall on addiction recovery with our state and local representatives and Ryan Hampton a recovery advocate, to talk about addiction and where the gaps are.

So what are we lacking right now for addiction recovery? Sheriff Leonard says transportation. It’s hard to get to your job when you have $20k worth of fines on your record and no way to pay them off. And in Chesterfield County where this was taking place, there is no public transportation system, leaving those in recovery struggling to make … Read more...

Join Team Charles

NAMI stands for National Alliance of Mental Illness and I’m on the board for the Virginia chapter. We have our annual fundraising walk on Saturday, October 9, 2021, and my NAMI Virginia Team Charles is set up. It’s in memory of my son Charles who lived with depression and addiction.

You can be anywhere in the world and “walk” with us. So join the team, or donate! If you are local, we’ll probably walk together somewhere, most likely Bryant Park.

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What is 710 day?

by Laura Stack, Founder Johnny’s Ambassadors

710 day dabs

Make sure you know where your teenagers are at 7:10 PM on July 10.

Why? Because 710 is Dab Day. Turned upside down, the digits 710 spell “OIL.”

Why? Because participants are high on cannabis oil, which is one type of high-potency marijuana. While 420 Day celebrates marijuana in general, 710 Day celebrates the high-potency extracts called “dabs.” At 7:10 PM, users will celebrate the holiday with a dab.

What is a dab? Dabbing involves extracting the THC (the part that gets you high) from the cannabis plant (see photo). Users place a small … Read more...

Sam’s Soul Journey. A mother’s grief

by Lynda Harrison Hatcher

Lynda Harrison Hatcher, author of Mothering Addiction

At 2:37pm on a Friday in February, an unknown number lit my mobile screen. “Are you kidding? I’m not answering that,” I said melodically, as I weeded through a storage bin stuffed with an assortment of photos, many of them stuck together from years of moisture. Most would be hurled into the dumpster I’d reserved for the next three days. Early spring cleaning.

Seconds later, a text from the same area code – “That’s weird,” I said, then scanned the words: “Lynda, it’s Lissie. Sam’s friend. Could you please … Read more...

For my son’s birthday in heaven, I got a tattoo

by Kerry Rhodes

So if you know me, you know how much I disliked Taylor having tattoos. When he turned 18, he begged to get a cross on his chest with Frank Woolwine’s name on it. Frankie was his good friend who was killed in a car accident the year before.

I knew better than to think I would stop Taylor once he was 18, so I said let’s go with something small. He agreed and I paid for it for his birthday. If you give Taylor an inch, he could sometimes take a mile. So that one tattoo turned … Read more...

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...