Girl Scouts Scout for Answers to Suicide

Today I discussed depression and suicide with Girl Scout Troop 6228.

Now when I speak, I know there will be someone in the room who has dealt personally with suicide. It’s never an easy topic to begin and after a few awkward silences (which were filled with even more awkward laughter) we got into how they have had to meet face to face with depression and suicidal ideation. A few of them opened up about how they have either helped or been helped by others, while some sat silently and listened as tears flowed freely. The girls switched seats according to who was speaking and who needed a little more comfort in the moment because their priority was that no one be allowed to feel overwhelmed alone. Right then, I thought of the many alone in the world and wished we could welcome them with open arms. I knew these girls would do just that.

We talked about how each of them have to spend 80 hours on a cause that can be sustainable long after they’ve graduated from high school in order for them to earn their Gold Awards. If only everyone had to serve 80 selfless hours. What could we as humans then accomplish?

It was great to see these young girls inspired to act by their own experiences and their love for one another. Each unique interest pulled them in slightly different directions but they all came back to the need to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

The girls reminded me of someone I knew long ago. Someone who once (and oftentimes still) had questions just like theirs. I couldn’t help but feel their “friendship net” was something my teenaged self had missed out on long ago. Would my days have been a bit brighter had I known them then?

Their love and acceptance of one another should be the basis of all suicide prevention. If only we could bottle that up and disperse it freely to the masses. If only.




The War Horse

Most of us hear that we lose an estimated 22 (in more recent reports 23) veterans each and EVERY day. What those of us in the Suicide Prevention field are still trying to work out are the why’s and the how’s of the issue.

The WAR HORSE is a comprehensive reporting database where users can submit information (which is then verified and fact checked by the War Horse team). This information is not limited to the tangible, it includes the experiences and emotions that influence so many today.

The War Horse is a project that evaluates the effects of war BY those who have been directly affected by war. I am Proud to be a part of this project because I know the effects that war can leave on not only a military veteran, but also their family, friends, and even acquaintances.
Imagine what we can do once we can look at the ripples that create PTSD, depression, mental illnesses, and so many other “side effects” of war. I encourage you all to take a second and watch this video that further explains the War Horse. Please help us make a difference in the lives of millions by sharing, donating to the Kickstarter, and simply talking about the issues we are working to figure out.
Thank you Thomas Brennan for all your hard work and dedication in making this project become a reality. I am truly honored to be a part of the team.
And thank you to those who take a second to think about all the lives this could benefit.

Suicide can be prevented. #arzerosuicide #zerosuicide



Cracked, Not Broken Suicide Prevention Conference

Kevin Hines coined the perfect term, “Cracked, Not Broken,” to describe what many people the world over want known about living with a mental illness.
If we could all see one another’s cracks, would we be more understanding and accepting of each other?

The simple truth is, everyone has mental health and that mental health can fluctuate on any given day. Mental illness has been stigmatized for so long, because it was simply misunderstood. Our hope is to start the conversation and shine light onto what has been a dark topic.
Join us, the United Way of Garland County, the Arkansas Department of Health, and many more within our community on March 10 at the Frederick Dierks Building from 9-5pm at National Park College to be a part of a much needed discussion.
We are still accepting art submissions for our exhibition and contest. If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Susie Reece at (501) 249-9758 or reecesusie@ymail.com.

Photo Credit: Brad James, Owner Night Owl Productions