This week, Ameé published two episodes, back to back, as a part of a entire month of podcasting dedicated to suicide prevention awareness.
In Part 1, Ameé speaks with a guest who’s appeared on One Broken Mom before, Andy Grant from the show Real Men Feel.
WARNING: If your life has been touched closely and intimately by suicide, this could be a tough episode to listen to - so pace yourself if you need to. This is a candid conversation about suicide and suicide ideation.
Listeners heard Andy here earlier this year when he and Ameé chatted about the work he does and the arena he has established for men to come together and support each other as they learn the understanding and tools to help them with expressing the real thoughts, feelings and needs men have.
But then a not so funny thing happened a few months ago.
Andy disappeared. His daily posts quit happening. He wasn’t commenting in his community. He wasn’t answering his messages. He wasn’t recording new shows.
When he did emerge finally, he shared that he’d fallen into the abyss again. But thankfully, Andy was able to grab the ledge and claw his way back.
So this episode is an attempt to understand the depths of the day to day struggle some people have with fighting the urge to die. And to also, hopefully, connect with what has mattered or helped Andy the most through this. Andy, sadly, falls into the largest category of people who die by suicide in the United States – men between the ages of 40-60 years – the category that has taken a sharp increase the last 10 years.
Too many people die by suicide and the people left behind have no answers to why and we hope to give some of those today.
People don’t talk about suicide in this country out of the fear that others will see it as a solution. But that method isn’t working at saving the astonishing number of people who die each and so we’re going to do it differently today by having the raw honest conversations that too many people are afraid to do.
In this episode you will hear:
What triggered Andy's recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts
What kept him from killing himself
The treatments and therapies Andy finds most effective in his life
What do family members and close friends need to know about supporting someone who thinks about killing themselves
Part 2 is an interview with Andy's wife, Lori Grant - an energy healer and life coach.
If you are or have been experience suicidal thoughts or have attempted to end your life by suicide, this episode is NOT for you. The topic we discuss today can be extremely triggering for someone who is struggling with suicide ideation and could be completely and understandably misinterpreted.
If you are a Listener, again, who has attempted suicide in the past or experience thoughts about killing yourself, please, skip this episode. Go listen to Part 1 with Andy instead or simply move along to something else.
In the latest statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2017, 10.6 million adults aged 18 or older reported having serious thoughts about trying to kill themselves, and 1.4 million adults made a non-fatal suicide attempt during the past year.
For every one of those adults, it is safe to say that there is at least one other person trying to support them. But you can easily imagine that the number is actually higher, right? We are talking about moms, dads, brothers, sisters, friends, co-workers, husbands and wives.
There is no question that understanding why a person wants to end their own life is vital to preventing deaths from suicide.
However, suicide is a taboo topic in our society and let’s consider for a moment that one of the reasons is not just that there is a concern that talking about suicide gives suicidal people the wrong idea about benefit to die at their own hands.
What if one of the reasons we don’t talk about it is also because it would open up a Pandora’s Box of shame, judgement that lives in the hearts and minds of the people who are in the trenches with someone who constantly thinks about killing themselves.
It is not easy to live with someone who has a severe mental health condition and yet we are not allowed to say that. We are not allowed to feel exhausted. Angry. Sad. Frustrated. Depressed. People outside of this turbulent world are quick to point out how shameful and selfish those feelings are.
So, the soldiers on the front line in this war to save another persons life keep these feelings to themselves. They keep their own battle hidden and can become anemic.
It is proven however, that maintaining connections with people who have thoughts of suicide can greatly reduce the deaths from suicide.
So, it is just as important that we also talk about supporting those who are out there riding out the storm with someone they don’t want to die so that are fully resourced and able to maintain the life-saving connections with the people they love.
If you are one of us – someone dealing with supporting a person with a severe mental health condition on a regular basis – then this episode is for you.
But I’m also warning you - Be ready to hear a frank, honest, raw and brave conversation from a wife who’s husband has suicidal thoughts and how she deals with this battle on her terms.
If this episode triggers you – that is okay. Take your time or stop listening. But you know me – there is no room in my world for false judgments or shaming other people. This is about supporting one another.
We are all here to get better together.