Suicide has had an impact on my life since I was a young child.
My grandfather completed suicide when I was just 5 years old. I saw the impact on my family from a child’s eyes, but the true depth of that impact wouldn’t come to pass until later in life.
The phone rings, early on a Sunday morning. I’m excited, as it is a childhood friend whom I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with; only she asks me to let my parents know that her brother committed suicide the night before.
No words can describe the pain heard and felt. Of course, as outsiders, as onlookers, our first unspoken questions are “How did this happen?” “How did he do it?”
The toughest speech I have ever given in my life – and candidly to the most important audience – was not to a room of politicians or colleagues.
Those speeches seem so easy now in retrospect. My toughest public-speaking moment was delivering the eulogy of my son’s very best friend, Adam.
Everyone knows what a first aid kit is. We’ve all seen them. We’ve all used them. Convenient boxes containing the basic tools needed to treat medical emergencies: bandages and antibiotic ointments for cuts, cold compresses for burns, aspirin for headaches and inflammation.
But what if someone were to have a psychiatric emergency? Would others even know it was happening? Would anyone know what to do? Are there ‘tools’ to help someone in psychiatric distress?