Saturday, November 17, 2018

November 17th is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

In 1999, Senator Harry Reid, a survivor of his father’s 1972 suicide, introduced a new resolution into the US Senate. With its passage, the US Congress designated the Saturday before Thanksgiving as National Survivors of Suicide Day - an awareness day that reaches out to thousands of people who have lost a loved one to suicide.

National Survivors of Suicide Day has evolved into a global awareness day called International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day thanks to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. 

Sometimes called "Survivor Day," this November 17th will find children and adults affected by suicide loss gathering around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and heal. Last year, there were over 400 Survivor Day events in 20 countries.

To find a local Survivor Day event near you, link here
Every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide. 
Every 41 seconds someone tries to understand that loss. 

If you need help, are suicidal or feeling hopeless, please call 1-800-273-TALK. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

November is National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month, honoring all those who care for loved ones with physical and mental health issues. 

Here are some statistics for caregivers: 
  • There are more than 65 million people in the US alone who spend an average of 20 hours a week caring for a loved one.
  • 1.4 million children ages 8 to 18 provide care for an adult relative.
  • Approximately 66% of family caregivers are women. 
  • 14% of family caregivers care for a special needs child with an estimated 16.8 million caring for special needs children under 18 years old. 
  • Stress of family caregiving for persons with dementia has been shown to impact a person's immune system for up to three years after their caregiving ends thus increasing their chances of developing a chronic illness themselves.
  • 20% of caregivers over 50 years old report symptoms of depression compared to 8% of their non-caregiving peers.

Being a family caregiver takes patience, dedication and love. Make sure you celebrate those in your life who look out for you and your well-being - and if you're a caregiver, it's vital to make time to care for yourself.

Monday, October 15, 2018

October in Prenatal Loss Awareness Month

Many people are not aware that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in loss. That statistic feels even more staggering when you look at the yearly number: that approximately one million pregnancies in the United States and Canada end in early pregnancy loss, SIDS, miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of the newborn child. 

Pregnancy and Infant Loss are deeply painful experiences that many families face daily, but they receive little attention. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month can reach and teach others about the needs of bereaved parents.

Here are 7 ways to help a loved one or friend deal with early pregnancy loss:

  • Host a community memorial service
  • Plant a memorial garden or tree 
  • Arrange a religious service or memorial
  • Design a memorial stone
  • Dedicate a star to the baby at Star Registry
  • Send a card
  • Make a call

Saturday, October 06, 2018

World Mental Health Day is October 10th

October 10th 2018 is World Mental Health Day.This campaign began in 1992 to being awareness about the importance of mental health. This year's theme is mental health in youth and young adulthood.  

"Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time of life when many changes occur, for example changing schools, leaving home, and starting university or a new job. For many, these are exciting times. They can also be times of stress and apprehension, however. In some cases, if not recognized and managed, these feelings can lead to mental illness. The expanding use of online technologies, while undoubtedly bringing many benefits, can also bring additional pressures, as connectivity to virtual networks at any time of the day and night grows. Many adolescents are also living in areas affected by humanitarian emergencies such as conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics. Young people living in situations such as these are particularly vulnerable to mental distress and illness."

Link here to find local mental health events and when using social media hashtag: #WorldMentalHealthDay.

Monday, September 17, 2018

September is National Service Dog Month

Originally known as National Guide Dog Month, "National Service Dog Month" was first established in 2008 by actor and animal activist, Dick Van Patten. 

Inspired by what was a life-changing visit to The Guide Dogs of the Desert in California, Van Patten launched a fundraising drive to benefit guide and service dog training schools throughout the country  - and create an awareness month for the campaign.

Service dogs provide companionship, inspire confidence, and live to serve, protect, and assist their handlers. There are different kinds of trained animals, including guide dogs, emotional support pets and assistance animals. Many help children and adults perform daily living skills, overcome physical limitations, accomplish lifelong goals, embark on adventures and cope with mental illnesses.

Service dogs, and other service animals, have a long and rich history in the mental health field. One type of highly trained service dogs are specifically called Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSD). These canines help their humans who struggle with psychiatric disabilities including PTSD, bipolar disorder, anxiety and severe depression.

PSD's are trained to assist in medical crises and provide treatment and security for their owners, including reducing anxiety, interrupting depressive episodes and preventing their handlers from reacting unfavorably in stressful situations. PSD’s can assist with  "deep pressure therapy" to minimize anxiety or self-harm by applying weight and pressure to an owner's body. Thus, calming the owner or helping the owner ground themselves in a more positive moment.

Animals are amazing creatures. And those that offer these highly trained services are worthy of celebration not just this month – but every month.

Sunday, September 02, 2018


Did you know that over 1 million people die by suicide each year? 

That's a death by suicide very 40 seconds.

Suicide is THE most preventable kind of death. 

Education, resources, intervention and outreach can help children and adults who struggle with staggering sadness, hopelessness and despair.

One of the most far-reaching campaigns is World Suicide Prevention Day. 

This health education program is sponsored by The International Association for Suicide Prevention, The World Health Organization, The United Nations and many grass root organizations and agencies every year on September 10th.

To learn about the warning signs for suicidal behavior go here.

For suicide resources in the USA use this link 

and for worldwide referrals go here.