I want to take time from our regularly scheduled communication to write to you, tastefully I hope, and respond and talk about the tragic incident that befell 26 of our brothers and sisters in Newton, Connecticut this last Friday.
As many of you know I work often in the field of mental health and suicide prevention as an advocate and public speaker on the importance of mental wellness, community and yes even suicide prevention.
First, I want to take a moment to express that I care for each and every single one of you dearly and deeply, whether or not I see you or speak with you on a regular basis. It’s in these times we are compelled to come together as Americans, but most importantly as human beings and as a community to grieve our losses and support one another.
Support and community are the things I’m most concerned for. This young man, this Adam Lanza, from the reports that have come out over the past few days, was not mentally well and I, as an advocate for mental wellness, would be remiss in not taking this opportunity to have a brief dialogue with you and say that we as a society must demand of ourselves and our leaders better treatment and better education on early warning signs of children and adults who are not mentally well and who need greater support so these acts of violence against others and against self do not continue to occur.
It is not enough that we shed tears and offer our thoughts and prayers for these victims and their memory. The best way we can honor their lives is by:
a) offering our support to each other with open, honest, and vulnerable words and communication
b) by paying more attention to the mental health of ourselves, our neighbors, and people who most would find undesirable to share a room with, and
c) find a way to educate ourselves about how to help oneself and our neighbor when in (mental or physical) crisis.
If there’s anything I can ever do to help or support you in any way, please do not ever hesitate to email or pick up a phone and call.
Lastly, please take a moment to read the article which I’ve provided a link to. It paints an accurate portrayal of what it’s like to live with a young person struggling and dealing with mental illness: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-mental-illness-conversation_n_2311009.html
With love and blessings,
PS. I’m working on a project, “The I am Worthy Project,” in April ’13 in Mystic Connecticut, just under 2 hours away from Newton, CT. We’re working on bringing suicide prevention and mental health awareness and training to the community. I’m donating some of my time and services to this “Worthy” cause. Please take a moment if you have it and check out the project and if you feel compelled, please consider making a donation to help make this project a reality. Many thanks: http://www.indiegogo.com/Iamworthy/x/1909340
*Originally published through the blog The Arts Entrepreneur