Last Friday was National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, and I had the pleasure of spending it meeting and speaking with some wonderful people at the world renowned Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. A fellow American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Greater Philadelphia Chapter Speakers Bureau volunteer and I shared important information about the problem of suicide in children and young adults, as well as about the various training programs and resources that the AFSP provides to healthcare professionals, educators and the general public. I was inspired by the people I met today and their sincere desire to make a difference in doing what they can, to help people struggling with suicidality. I look forward to participating in additional events at CHOP in the near future!
Tim Ferriss has long been a role model and inspiration to me as far as self-actualization. He wrote an extraordinary blog post this week about his own personal experience with suicidal ideations while a student at Princeton, and he offers his insights on the subject.
I commend and congratulate Tim on sharing his story, and I hope that I can enroll him in the idea of the two of us having a “frank talk about suicide” in the near future.
On Friday, April 17th, seventeen years, one month and fifteen days since my nearly fatal suicide attempt, I spoke publicly, for the first time, about it, at Lower Moreland High School in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The prior week I had participated in a training session conducted by members of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the leading, national non-profit in suicide awareness and prevention in the U.S. The training was provided for people who want to aid the AFSP’s mission by speaking on behalf of the organization and the cause, whenever needed. Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, a new Pennsylvania law going into effect will require at least four hours of suicide prevention training every five years for professional educators of students in grades 6-12.
The training that I helped conduct at Lower Moreland High School is named: More Than Sad: Suicide Prevention Education for Teachers and Other School Personnel. It teaches those who work in schools about suicide in young people and how they can help to prevent it. The training consists of very useful and easy to understand information, delivered via a slide presentation and a short video as well. I look forward to the opportunity to deliver this invaluable training many times this year in and around Philadelphia.
If you would like more information about the AFSP or the More Than Sad Suicide Prevention training program, please click here to navigate to their website.
17 years, 1 month, and 15 days since my suicide attempt, I’m off to speak in person for the first time about suicide at a Philly area high school!!
Auditorium at lower Moreland high school before the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Philly chapter training event for staff and teachers.