Shattering The Silence Around Suicide Is Part Of Your Job


Robin Williams died this week and it reminded me yet again of how easy it is to make a life and death difference in someone’s life and yet how difficult it can be for us to consciously choose to actually do so.

Check out this TedTalk video shared this week by Lauren Ostrowski.

As licensed mental health professionals, we are required to shatter the silence around suicide by starting conversations that matter – not just with our clients but also with our neighbors, our friends, and our family members.

That’s part of the advocacy that we are mandated to engage in.

What I know is that most people who are thinking about suicide never speak to a health care professional . . . not ever . . . even if they already have an ongoing professional relationship with a mental health professional.

Instead, most people thinking about suicide choose to talk to a friend . . . or a family member . . . or even a colleague.

Mental health professionals are not their first choice.

That means that you mother or your child or your partner or your sibling is much more likely to hear someone talking about suicide today than you are in your own office.

As you are thinking about the silence that surrounds suicide today, ask yourself these questions . . . .

  • What are you doing to prepare those around you for that conversation?
  • When did you last initiate a conversation about suicide with someone outside of your work setting?
  • Why is that?  (That reason matters.)
  • And, what is it you are willing to do today to be better prepared to have another (conversation) that matters?

If the words “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” stick in your throat . . . .

If you’ve never asked someone about suicide . . . .

Please consider getting trained in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training through LifeWorks now.

It’s time . . . to shatter the silence. 

It’s your job.


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APA Formatting For Your Citations: Blog Posts, Facebook Updates, YouTube, and More


Several of you have asked where you can go to get the correct APA formatting for your blog posts, Facebook updates, etc.  Here’s 4 online resources to help you get it right every time.

 If you have other favorite resources to add to this list, please do so!

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Self Care For Psychotherapists During Times Of Loss


Hey, gang, yesterday we learned the tragic news that father, husband, actor, and comedian Robin Williams died by suicide in his home.

One of the Licensed Professional Counselors in our community, Lauren Ostrowski sent the following message to me today . . . .

Tamara,Image of Self Care for Psychotherapists During Times of Loss

I know that usually when there is a major news event, you have a blog post about it. I don’t know how you feel about doing the same thing for Robin Williams. I think it would be good for us all to have a place to discuss our own self-care or strategies for dealing with our own reactions to celebrity tragedies. I think this one is going to be a big part of counseling sessions for weeks to come.”

This loss comes on the heels of a major computer crash in my office 10 days ago which has thrown me woefully behind in my work both here with you and with clients I continue to work with.  I hope you guys will overlook my haste in addressing this matter.

Robin Williams, for many of us, you changed our worlds . . . in so many big and little ways.  I will miss you always.

I know many of you, like me, are heartbroken from the loss of such a generous soul who brightened so many of our lives.

It’s a tricky thing as a mental health professional to balance our clients’ grief along with our own.

Thank you, Lauren, for your sensitivity and thinking of the needs of our online community here.

Whatever your thoughts and connections are to Robin’s spirit and legacy today, I hope you will take a moment to share them here along with your own practices and suggestions for other therapists to engage in self-care during times of loss.

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