When I'm doing day-to-day things, it is very common for other people to ask me why I have a semicolon tattoo on my right wrist. A semicolon is defined as “a punctuation mark indicating a pause, typically between two main clauses, that is more pronounced than that indicated by a comma.”
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April Foreman is a Licensed Psychologist serving Veterans as Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System. She also serves as Suicide Prevention Lead for Veterans Integrated Service Network 16, a region of Veterans Affairs. She is passionate about helping people with severe and sometimes lethal emotional pain. She is known for her work at the intersection of technology, social media, and mental health, with nationally recognized implementations of innovations in the use of technology and mood tracking.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) logo is a life preserver. I think the idea is that the organization brings people together who want to preserve life and prevent suicide. For those of us who have tried to help a loved one who has to navigate life with a mental illness, the idea that you, personally, are a life preserver for someone else is likely not part of your thought process. At least it wasn’t for me. Compassionate listener, mood tracker, financial supporter, worrier extraordinaire – those are the roles I filled as my dad fiercely battled bipolar disorder.
November 22, 2014 is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a day that much of society most likely does not know anything about. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in recognition of a resolution that Senator Harry Reid introduced to the senate, pronounced the Saturday before Thanksgiving to be “Survivors of Suicide Loss Day”. AFSP observes November 22 as being “International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day” to encompass the global population.
The day Robin Williams passed away my husband woke me up from an impromptu nap. I had a rough day and I was very tired. The first words I heard from my nap were “Robin Williams passed away”. How? “Apparent suicide” he replied.
Now I don’t normally get emotional over a celebrity passing, as each life is just as precious, but this hit my quite hard. Robin Williams’ comedic prowess saved me from terrible days. I remember watching The Birdcage to lift my spirits after a hard day.
I write this entry in my blog with a very heavy heart, as I mourn with the rest of the world over the tragic news of Robin Williams passing. A brilliant man, in every sense of the word, an amazing actor, a Talented Comedian, a man who shared the gift of laughter with the world. It breaks our hearts in a million pieces to know his inner turmoil took him from his place in this world.
STOP and read the following clearly. This article may be troubling to somebody thinking about suicide. This article is about personal and factual experiences regarding suicide. Please do not read if you are in a dark place and feeling suicidal. Suicide is never the answer, finding help and support IS. At the end of this article, I listed numerous resources, to obtain more information on this topic, as well as crisis hotline numbers for immediate support. Please utilize these fully.
Join us and watch our Consumer Advisory Board member John Kevin Hines talk about his suicide attempt and his efforts now to educate the public. Mr. Hines was the 2009 SAMHSA Spotlight Voice Awards recipient.