Posted in Did you know?, Mental Health, suicide

World Suicide Prevention Day – September 10, 2019

World Suicide Prevention Day – September 10, 2019

 

 

 

Mental illness is something we are  talking more and more about but it’s still not enough! People of all ages especially the most vulnerable…youths and young adults need to hear the message loud and clear that mental health is as important as physical health.  One does not go without the other. If you are stressed about something for long periods of time, we know how that impacts on your physical health, right? And yet, how many people delay or never go to see a professional about this?  Too many and that is mostly due to the stigma.

I think the media is helping even though their main goal may be to get more readers, increase viewers or listeners but still, admittedly, it helps A LOT!  And if it can save one life…it is worth it!

When I hear of a suicide, it makes me feel we have failed as a society and yes, often as professionals …but that is an emotional reaction and not a rational one.

 

Light a Candle

Light a Candle near a Window at 8:00 P.M. September 10th to show your support for suicide prevention, to remember a lost loved one, and for the survivors of suicide.

stjosephpulse.com

 

On Tuesday, September 10th it is World Suicide Prevention Day.  It is an international candle ceremony that will be taking place all over the world, in homes, at work, on line.  For some it will be your way of remembering a loved one and friends who are survivors of suicide. My heart goes out to you.   I know you carry your love and your loss of someone “who matters” forever!

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have shared this story before but it is still one that struck me on how one person can make a difference in the life another…saving a life:

A young boy, teen, called thinking seriously of suicide.  He had been depressed for quite some time and he had a plan. After talking for quite some time,  he began feeling there just “may” be hope. At the end of the call, I asked him how he heard about the phone service.  “Oh, a buddy of mine slipped a tab from a Smarties box in my pocket without my knowing.  I just happened to find it tonight.”  (Youth line is printed on most Nestlé products).  So if you have a helpful link or resource to share with a friend, DO IT, you just never know how important that action could be…may even save a life and in the very least, offer hope.

Sometimes just smiling at a person waiting in line at the subway, grocery store or bank can make a difference not only in that person’s day but their life too!

 

 

 

Today, September 10th, take a moment to show someone they matter…your smile, your gesture translates in all languages: “You matter!”

© Cheryl-Lynn ‘19/09/10

 

 

Important links:

Suicide Action Montreal

Kids Help Phone – Jeunesse Jécoute

Canadian Association of Mental Health (CAMH)
Take 5 To Save Lives 
Suicide Prevention Australia 
Suicide Prevention in Canada 
Suicide Prevention London UK

International Association of Suicide Prevention IASP

Crisistextline.org  Canada, UK, South Africa, Ireland, USA

 

 

Posted in Did you know?

Trust your instincts Haibun

They called her Wolf Girl on the psych ward at the hospital . No one had been able to approach her …much. She was like a wild animal. If you came too close to her, she would howl; if she was hungry she would stand at your table, looking at your tray with the puppy dog eyes, no one could refuse her. The staff was curious about her but all, without exception, fell in love with her especially when she would curl up into a ball in the fetus position on the centre of her bed…thumb in mouth, lights ON. If ever a staff member felt pity for anyone sleeping with those bright neon lights and turned it off in her room, she would sit up, howling, eyes wide, holding on to her blanket for dear life. 

Her name was Torey.  Child services brought her in 3 months ago to Emergency for a check up and after examination by doctors as well as the psycho-educator in chief, they assumed she would get her discharge no later than 3 days (which was customary in “those” cases). But she never got that release and Dr. Shelley, the Psycho-Educator in chief would not release her. She had a different reason at each court hearing…this last one was selective mutism, and that this youth was sexually assaulted multiple times for years.

Torey was 11 by now but what did,   “hell did multiple times for years” even mean?  Dr. Shelley just knew that this child should NOT be placed in foster care without guarantees she would be safe.   The system had failed her in the past when this child had put her trust in adults who should have kept her safe.  Dr. Shelley knew there were NO such guarantees.  She  took it upon herself to ensure she remain the ward of the court and in the children’s psychiatric ward indefinitely.  She had hope that some day soon, she just may make a breakthrough. Torey may decide to talk.

It was December 24th,  three and a half months since Torey’s admission, and she was in her daily interview with Dr. Shelley. This therapist had a unique approach with youths with selective mutism.  Her past 10 years of experience working solely with teens who had autism spectrum had given her a new skill…EEP.  Her colleagues, mostly professors at the local university scoffed at her when she said it was actually a skill that had to be learned with working with “exceptional” youths.  EEL stands for Exceptional Empathetic Listening skills.  Dr. Shelley had a knack of drawing out the most difficult and resistant child into trusting her enough to start talking…even if it was one hour a day, that was a miracle in many cases she had worked on.

Torey was different. She was brilliant. She had a way of knowing what adults were thinking and what they needed. This is how they discovered her exceptional talent or sixth sense you. 

One day, Nurse Grant, who had been working on the pediatric ward on the psychiatric section for 20 years,  walked on the floor with a limp wearing tinted glasses.  Staff all inquired with sympathy what had happened to her over the weekend and she just brushed them off with a, “Ah just clumsy old me bumped into the glass bus shelter. With the darn sleet and snow mingled, I could not see an inch in front of me and I banged the corner of my left eye and slipped and sprained my ankle. Enough said, no need for pity from anyone, so I got these glasses to avoid your mushy sad looks. Now ya’ll get to work!”  She did have a bit of a bark and everyone went back to work. No one asked her again and most of the staff avoided looking at her in the eye…or rather, glasses…except for Torey.  She looked at her suspiciously, sucking her thumb. She circled around her looking up at her and raised her eyebrow. 

Then she followed Nurse Grant into the nurse’s lobby and sat right next to her on the couch while she sipped her coffee. Torey looked up and did the most surreal thing…she spoke! “He gave it to you, didn’t he?” she said  in a raspy voice. Nurse Grant almost spilled her coffee and looked at Torey wide eye, in shock.

“What are you talkin’ about young lady?!”

But Torey did not balk nor did she feel intimidated by Nurse Grant’s harsh tone.  She just looked up at her with those puppy dog eyes and gave Nurse Grant a hug, whispering in her ear, “I know what them do to you.”

Nurse Grant froze at first, then relinquished to this precious moment because she had a feeling that Torey did, in fact, know.  Torey’s compassion melted her heart.

Later that afternoon, Dr. Shelley was advised about Torey’s first spoken words in private by Nurse Grant who had to come clean of her own personal circumstances. 

Dr. Shelley, called Torey to her office.

“Well, now, Torey. You certainly gave us a bit of a surprise today and I have to say a very nice surprise. I want to thank you.” 

Torey had arrived arms crossed, ready to keep her silence but was cut off guard when Dr. Shelley was thanking her.  She dropped her arms to her side and raised an eyebrow and waited…she was the prize of detectives…she had to know for sure…

Dr. Shelley continued, “Torey, Nurse Grant has been in an abusive relationship for years and no one but no one has ever had the courage to confront her and plead with her to get out and to a safer environment. Today, Nurse Grant came up to me asking to live in the nurses’ quarters for the night staff temporarily until she finds a new apartment.  I want to thank you for doing something not one counsellor, nurse, doctor or psychologist was able to do until you did.”

Torey stared at her, sizing what she had just heard, and took her usual seat in front of Dr. Shelly’s arm chair and said, “Yeah, well, it’s about time she left that f…..g loser. She deserves better.”

That was the first session Torey felt she could trust Dr. Shelley and started disclosing the sexual abuse she had been exposed to by her father from the age of 7 to 10 and the abuse in foster care the months following her removal from her home.





Trust had to be earned.  Torey was not fool enough to trust just anyone; she knew who could be trusted and she chose to speak to Nurse Grant because she saw an ally…a soldier in the fight against abuse  in her.  As for Dr. Shelley, well, Torey, knew she had an exceptional way of listening and she was just waiting for the right moment to feel she could actually trust her.

the frog tries to help
a scorpion cross the river
an act of kindness

halfway to the other side
scorpion shows its true nature

smell cunning cruelty
even words soaked in honey
instincts are wiser

©Tournesol 2016

Originally posted at Tournesoldansunjardin

Posted in Did you know?, Haibun, Mental Health, senryû, Tournesol whispers

Loving a person with BPD

It’s not easy struggling with BorderlinePersonalityDisorder and along with that often comes other mental health issues.  What is difficult is not getting a proper diagnosis…once that is achieved, the recovery starts.  

So many professionals are not skilled or knowledgeable to help persons with this condition. Too many medical professionals overmedicate them to silence them.  Once in a blue moon, they will find a compassionate and knowledgeable therapist who gets it and many times that is where the healing begins. 

Yet, there are many who never want to get help and see the world as having the problem and not them.  They don’t understand why family and friends often withdraw…sometimes to save themselves, other times because they just do not understand.  Most of the time it is because they feel awkward and ridden with guilt for not succeeding in making this person happy.  Too many times they feel it is their responsibility to maintain this person’s equilibrium and happiness. 

Loving a person with this condition is not so hard. Love is love, right? You love with the good and the bad and the in between.  It is the self-preservation that takes time to access.  It takes a while before you realize it is not always your fault that your friend, lover, sister, brother, cousin, mother or father are upset with you.  In fact, it rarely has anything to do with you. 

It takes so much energy though.  It is so exhausting!   When you actually love this person, you ache inside. When this person is confronting you, you are shaking many times and wondering what you could have done better…sooner. 

It is a wheel of constant confusion, suffering, guilt and when he or she is happy with you, you feel so good inside but you are still wary of when the axe will fall once more on your head for not being the person he or she needs and expects you to be. 

 echoes  
of discontent
haunt her

I love you, I hate you
you abandoned me
again


heart squeezes
head spins
still no answers

It is a win/lose situation until… 

(c) Tournesol ‘ 19/01/05

Posted in Did you know?

A Child’s Note to Parents

Wise Words for parents of school age children.

Stories by Shivangi

Dear Parents,

Soon you would be having conference regarding my performance in school. As you listen, please remember that what my teacher might be describing may not be the complete truth. So, do not get uptight if you hear any blemish. I hope you will accept me as I am as long as I am trying.

Remember that all children do not walk or speak at the same age, nor do they learn math, reading or science at the same rate. Please do not compare me to my brothers, sisters, cousins or friends. I am unique to this world. Be realistic in setting my goals. Challenge me but do not push me beyond my abilities. Please let me be a child first before labelling me as a success or a failure.

The conference would be a picture of me at school. I am very different at home. In school, I…

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Posted in Did you know?

World Galgo Day

Yesterday ws World Galgo Day to create awareness to Galgo Greyhounds (Spanish greyhounds) who are used for hunting and too often mistreated or killed. Read more to see how perhaps you or someone who can, can help.

Whippet Wisdom - a Highland Journey

lr-1030215-ww

Today is World Galgo Day. Galgos or Spanish Greyhounds are gentle sighthounds who are used by ‘galgueros’ (hunters) in Spain during the hunting season which ends on 1st February. The number of galgos who are well cared for by their galgueros remains small. The majority of galgos are poorly treated during the hunting season and will be abandoned or killed as soon as the season is over.

A number of concerned and kind-hearted souls have begun to bring light into this shadow. They have created shelters where abandoned galgos can be cared for and rehomed into loving homes. They put pressure on governments to protect the galgos and have them recognised as sentient beings. When people come together in love and kindness miracles can happen. We pray that all galgos will be able to enjoy the kind of blessings that have come our way.

gentle hounds
deserve a soft landing

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Posted in Did you know?

LIVING WITH BI-POLAR PEOPLE by ELLIN CURLEY

Are you a caregiver, friend, relative, parent, sibling of someone who struggles with mental illness, then you need to read this. Written from experience, with compassion from the heart…

Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Carrie Fisher was bi-polar. To her credit, she talked about her condition openly and honestly. She brought attention to the disorder and tried to reduce the stigma associated with this, as well as other, mental illnesses. It’s sad that we need celebrities with diseases to increase public awareness about their given malady. But mental illnesses are inherently hard to diagnose, treat and talk about. So as long as people get educated about them, I guess it doesn’t matter how or why.

I have an unwanted and involuntary expertise in Bi-Polar Disorder. Both my ex husband and my son had/have the disease (my ex is deceased). Each of them manifested the condition differently – my ex was mostly manic and my son was mostly depressed. One of the most difficult aspects of this disorder is the fact that it can look so different in different people. It makes it much harder…

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Posted in Did you know?

Your words, not mine; your stories, not mine.

A story of human kindness
reaching out and caring
filled with such tenderness
your hearts will melt, I’m sure
but please,
do
read on about this moment.

The Gifts That We Share

Sunset over Charlottetown HarbourI am watching my resident sleep. I’ve been sitting beside her for fifteen minutes now, and the staff members assure me that she will be awake shortly. She doesn’t usually nap at this hour, they say.

I don’t mind as I am narrating a story in my head – all quiet moments are gifts of time.

The last couple of weekly visits have changed – the routine of greeting my resident, talking for a few minutes to reassure her of the reason for my visit (I am recording and writing down her life stories and memories), turning on the recorder, and prompting her with a few questions to stimulate her life stories has disappeared.

Lately, during our visits I notice that she is either very drowsy or somewhat confused, and conversations about her family, childhood, school antics or young married life have dried up.

I have had to adapt…

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Posted in Did you know?

Jane Goodall: A New Kind of World

Each and every person in the world CAN make a difference…

Living, Learning and Letting Go

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Photo Credit: Jeekc on Wikimedia

“I think one of the most important things for people to understand,” says Goodall, “is don’t feel helpless when you look at all the problems of the world.

Realize that if you think about the consequences of the small choices you make each day — what you buy, what you eat, where did it come from, how was it made, did it harm the environment, cruelty to animals, child slave labor — [you] make more ethical decisions.

It’s not just you. It’s more and more people around the world. In the end, it’s hundreds of millions of people making small choices, that are the right choices, that leads us to a new kind of world.”

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