I am going to jail

Sheriff Leonard of the much admired HARP (HARP = Heroin Addicts Seek Fresh Start) program in Chesterfield County along with Dr. Gay and the rest of the crew has invited me in to speak to women struggling with substance use disorder. This program is saving lives.

Imagine realizing your disease has landed you in jail. And then go one step further and think about how it feels when you realize some action on your part separated you from your children.

Many of these women struggle to find hope but they are attending the classes and they want to get … Read more...

Familiar and new faces in Huntsville, AL at Wellstone Fundraiser!

Denise K and Anne Moss Rogers

I have known Denise since the days I did digital marketing for Diamonds by Lauren of NY. Denise handled customer service. I posted I would be in Huntsville, AL and Denise lives near there and came to meet me and hear me speak. It was so exciting meeting her in person. And I had noticed an uptick of Alabama visitors and I’m sure it has to do with Denise!

So she called the marketing director, Kallie, about tickets and the fact that Denise has an English accent threw her off as it does a … Read more...

Leading change for a taboo topic

I have been advocating for mental health, specifically youth mental health, since 2010. While my son Charles was still alive, not yet diagnosed with depression and I didn’t know he was suffering from thoughts of suicide, the system was so frustrating, I joined the board for Beacon Tree Foundation to see if I could advocate for change. That was the first time I met people who felt just as frustrated as I was.

I tried back then to get speaking engagements but no one wanted to talk about mental illness or drugs and engagements were few and far between. I … Read more...

Why is a psychological evaluation important?

Richmond has a trauma informed care network (TICN) for which I am a member. I presented to this group on suicide and mental illness and how my family was treated in Virginia. I did talk a lot about the fact that we never got a diagnosis in this state, even when I begged for one.

Maybe this isn’t surprising when you consider Virginia ranks forty nine for services related to major depression. Lack of a diagnosis didn’t seem to stop anyone from prescribing medication. The methodology is “throw it at the wall and see if it sticks.” If you are … Read more...

My ‘Eyes on Richmond’ Presentation Video

I did appreciate the opportunity to present on this topic, “Addiction and Mental Illness: Injustices to our youth” to share why Virginia ranks 46th for treating youth mental health.

That means 7 out of 10 most at risk for dropping out of school, struggling with relationships, ending up in prison, becoming addicted or dying by suicide, do not get the care they need.

I began with my story about my son Charles who died by suicide and talked about the injustices we faced as a middle class family and what I’ve seen are the gaps in a flawed system of … Read more...