Blog

October 17, 2018

The Mighty published my article on their website ❤️ If you haven’t checked out The Mighty before it is an empowering digital resource that helps connect people facing health challenges and disabilities. I respect their website so much that it is a resource in the back of my children’s book. Please click on the link below to read the article.
#postventionisprevention
#abovetherug

https://themighty.com/2018/10/a-star-is-born-suicide-loss/?fbclid=IwAR100nIXHEdZDJKsGtlQ99BzIXb-byvDaR5mYcmkKt1PYcDxerVO1r0qiJY

 

 

September 27, 2018

My late husband was Cherokee, but completely denied his heritage. He had said several times that “Native Americans were dead and didn’t exist anymore because they all had been killed off or stripped of their identity.”
He hated when people would ask him, “what are you?” His sarcastic response was always the same, “I’m white.” American Indians have the highest suicide rate of any racial/ethnic group in the United States according to the CDC. A couple of months before he ended his life he took me to see a Native American art exhibit with him. I remember him staring at each artifact for what seemed like hours. I wonder what was going through his head..
#postventionisprevention
#abovetherug

chicago trip

September 10, 2018

It is encouraging to know that there are so many passionate people who are wanting to help raise awareness here in Kansas City on #suicideprevention. Thank you KCUR 89.3 and CJ Janovy for staying #abovetherug and writing an article on the importance of #mentalhealthawareness and covering my exhibit #FacesAfterSuicide. It was hard not to share this article last week when it was released, but I wanted to save it for suicide prevention week. Click on the link below to check out the article.
#postventionisprevention

http://www.kcur.org/post/after-husbands-suicide-kansas-city-art-teacher-finds-new-voice-childrens-book?fbclid=IwAR3mJT_ZSwj-RI037Yegv7bFHbjMOMJxjwzK-psEtocV0WDzpq_TtmZZPBM#stream/0

 

September 9, 2018

Today marked the 15th year for SASS-MoKan – Suicide Awareness Survivor Support group Remembrance Walk. Bonnie Swade and Mickey Swade, who started SASS, have been selflessly helping and uniting survivors back when people weren’t even acknowledging suicide here in Kansas City. 3 weeks after my husband killed himself I stumbled into their support group and 3 and half years later, I’m honored to call them my friend’s, family, and mentors. Please watch KMBC 9‘s segment about the Swade’s and hear their crucial message to parents.

https://www.kmbc.com/article/family-remembers-son-who-died-by-suicide-ahead-of-weekend-suicide-remembrance-walk/23017667

 

September 7, 2018

North Kansas City Schools District had KMBZ radio interview me this morning in my elementary art classroom about suicide prevention and my children’s book #GoodnightMrVincentvanGogh. I wore my SASS-MoKan – Suicide Awareness Survivor Support t-shirt to the school and I’ll be wearing it this Sunday at our 15th Annual Remembrance Walk at Loose Park. Kids and staff wear cancer and diabetes t-shirts to raise awareness on physical health. I thought I would wear my #suicideprevention t-shirt to Nashua Elementary to help raise mental health. Suicide is not a dirty word and it’s ok to talk about it with our kids. Thank you NKCSD for staying #abovetherug ❤️ For more info on this Sunday’s walk visit www.sass-mokan.com
#postventionisprevention

September 5, 2018

Seize the Awkward. That’s the message on one of the postcards included in Lindsey Doolittle’s “Faces After Suicide” exhibit at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center. It means talking to a friend about mental health issues, even if it feels uncomfortable. Click on the link below to check out the article.

http://kcstudio.org/faces-after-suicide-lindsey-doolittle-leedy-voulkos-art-center/?fbclid=IwAR2Ia7kO5OpPdNIRg5T5lTi2VtgC7ZH4ArGdoGB4ylQ9HynFiXVG4uZqKa4

 

August 30, 2018

North Kansas City Schools will be training us educators on #suicideprevention tomorrow during professional development for the first time. I was asked for input on information and resources for the district. One of many important things I suggested, that they are teaching tomorrow is the importance of not saying “committed” suicide. Right after my husband killed himself 3 and a half years ago, SASS-MoKan – Suicide Awareness Survivor Support taught me the importance that language matters. My mentor and friend, Bonnie Swade, told us that “committed” holds a negative connotation and suggests that someone has “committed” a crime or sin. Suicide is neither. This is one small step educators can take to help break down the stigmas and lift the shame so that kids feel comfortable talking about suicide. I am grateful that NKCSD is recognizing suicide as a mental health condition and moving forward in prevention to make a better future for our kids.
#postventionisprevention
#abovetherug