‘Three Things You Should Know about the Suicidal Mind’ by Douglas Bloch

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Author and depression counselor Douglas Bloch shares what factors make people suicidal and how to find a way to hope and recovery. More information.

‘We Are All Connected: Reflection on Robin Williams’ Suicide’ by Pat Deegan

CW, CBS And Showtime 2013 Summer TCA Party - ArrivalsLike so many, I was deeply affected by Robin Williams’ suicide.  I was a big fan of his comedy.  In one of his greatest moments of standup, he invented a new psychiatric medicine he called “Fukitol” and forever won my heart. I also loved most of his dramatic performances such as Good Morning Vietnam, The Birdcage, and Good Will Hunting.

I knew all along that Robin Williams was one of us.  He reveled in outrageous genius that always teetered on madness.  He made the world laugh, while he wrestled with depression and battled his addictive demons.

Of course, he slipped at times.  He took wrong turns and made some bad choices.  But he was resilient.  He kept self-righting. He sought out help including detox, medications, therapy and mutual support groups.

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‘Life is hope’ by Afiomai

81691_orig_970_0-1I found this very moving blog from Afiomai on the new ABC Open website here in Australia. Afiomai is a transgender person living in Sydney and is currently considered long-term unemployed. Afiomai took part in ABC Open’s Speak Your Mind project

‘Sometimes I think about suicide.

I think about the “painless” ways I could do it. How I would obtain the required drugs or chemicals to bring me “sleep”. But, as an Average Jo, drugs and the drug world are beyond me.

I then think about maybe “guns” or “gas” as viable options?

But, as I live in Sydney’s Surry Hills and not Skid Row USA, I wouldn’t know the first thing about obtaining a gun, or even how to use it. And besides, it would be too messy.

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‘There’s Nothing Selfish About Suicide’ by Katie Hurley

Robin Williams‘I am a survivor of suicide.

I don’t talk about it a lot these days, as I’ve reached the point where it feels like a lifetime ago. Healing was a long and grief-stricken process. There were times when I felt very alone in my grief and there were times when I felt lost and confused.

The trouble with suicide is that no one knows what to say. No one knows how to react. So they smile and wave and attempt distraction… but they never ever say the word. The survivors, it seems, are often left to survive on their own.

I experienced endless waves of emotion in the days, weeks, months and even years following the loss of my father. The “what ifs” kept me up at night, causing me to float through each day in a state of perpetual exhaustion. What if I had answered the phone that night? Would the sound of my voice have changed his mind? Would he have done it at a later date, anyway? Survivor’s guilt, indeed.

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Caring Genius: Robin Williams

10373822_745460812179402_1533181977224733816_n“Robin Williams, the most astonishingly funny, brilliant, profound and silly miracle of mind and spirit, has left the planet.

He was a giant heart, a fireball friend, a wondrous gift from the gods. Now the selfish bastards have taken him back. Fuck ’em!'”  Terry Gilliam

Unknown-2“His kindness and generosity is what I think of. How kind he was to anyone who wanted to connect with him. And he could not help but be funny all the time. He would do something as long as it would keep you laughing,”   Ben Stiller

Historical Trauma: Nature of the Problem

Unknown-4 With the launch of our new Sharing Culture initiative and website, here is a description of The Problem:

‘Colonisation and its associated violence and control still exert a marked negative impact today on Australian Aboriginal people. Trauma and an associated unresolved grief have been transmitted across generations in ways that have influenced individuals, families and communities.

Expressions of historical trauma in Aboriginal people can be seen in: adults who feel inadequate in their day-to-day functioning: the poor physical and psychological health and much lower life expectancy; the escalation in addiction to alcohol and other substances which are used as a coping mechanism; the increase in domestic violence across generations; the self-harm, suicide and risk-taking that occurs when people can find no meaning to their existence and have no sense of purpose for their day-to-day activities.

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‘Challenging the Status Quo’ by Maria Bradshaw

lfennellI was greatly moved by this recent article on Mad in America. Having spent 25 year working as a neuroscientist and interacting with drug companies and psychiatrists, i can see the frustrations (and the hypocrisy of the system) here:

‘In 2009, my friend Leonie’s 22-year-old son Shane killed himself and another young man after taking Citalopram for 17 days.

Shane is the kind of son every mother dreams of. A student at prestigious Trinity College in Dublin, he was devoted to his younger brothers and sister, regularly gave money and the clothes off his back to homeless people, didn’t drink or smoke and was kind, handsome, gentle and much loved by his family, friends and college professors.

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Recommended Film: ‘Hancock and Joan’

Mike of Mike’s Tunes and Michael’s Story has highly recommended this film about the British comic genius Tony Hancock, who suffered from serious alcohol problems. The film was shown on BBC4 in the UK and is available in six parts on YouTube. This is what the BBC had to say:

‘Starring Ken Stott (Rebus, Messiah) as troubled comic genius Tony Hancock and Maxine Peake (Cinderella, Shameless) as Joan, Hancock and Joan charts the final year of his life.

Only months after her marriage to Dad’s Army favourite John Le Mesurier, Joan Le Mesurier fell in love with his best friend, the godfather of British sitcom, Tony Hancock. Tony was fresh out of rehab and desperate to resurrect his career with the offer of a new series in Australia.

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Promoting community led solutions to indigenous youth suicide

I have just received the email below. Last week, I attended an aboriginal healing retreat and had spiritual experiences that confirmed my commitment to helping the Indigenous people of Australia tackle addiction and mental health problems and other consequences of historical trauma.

This email reminds me of the scale of the problem. The video touched my inner soul. I am so happy I have made this commitment. I know the journey ahead is a long one.

Please support this cause, first by sending this blog and the website link out to as many people as possible. Thank you.

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‘Never give up hope’ by Elizabeth Burton-Phillips

Never give up hope by Elizabeth Burton-PhillipsAnother of my favourite blogs from Wired In To Recovery, from December 2009.

“Like most grandparents, I can’t resist showing off pictures of my beautiful little grandson James, sitting with his adoring father Simon. But for me, the joy runs even more deeply than most, contrasting as it does with the devastation my family experienced almost six years ago.

At the age of 13, my son Simon and his twin brother Nick began experimenting with drugs by smoking cannabis. They sampled increasingly dangerous drugs over a period of 14 years, culminating in injecting heroin. One February day in 2004, after a huge drug-fuelled argument, Simon went to make peace with his brother and found that Nick had hanged himself.

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