Saturday, August 25, 2012

World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012 is World Suicide Prevention Day. It's a day that I'll probably blog about and I'm sure to think about quietly as I watch my 13 year old son go about his day. I've been thinking a lot about suicide because just this week a public figure, director Tony Scott, jumped off of a bridge. 
Through the entire time of Gage’s bout with suicidal thoughts and actions we weren't sure which way to go with his treatment. That's the thing about mental illness, there isn't a sure way treatment. 
There is a very distinct difference between mental health treatment and kidney transplant. For both of the kids failing kidneys we always knew they'd need dialysis or a transplant to survive. There was a goal. A finish line and that was kidney function or fake kidney function (dialysis). 
Treatment for debilitating depression is obviously different for each person and for a child who has had a kidney transplant it is even more complicated. Just about nearly everyone wanted to pass his treatment on to someone else. Finally, after we admitted him to a psych hospital, we found a doctor who agreed to treat him. Treating him involved working closely with a transplant care team and pharmacologist. It involved the doctor knowing or researching certain drugs to make sure they wouldn't interfere with anti-rejection meds and/or be toxic to the one healthy kidney we longed for and was successfully working in my son. 
When I think about World Suicide Prevention Day I think about all of the people who are struggling with suicidal tendencies, I think about the loved ones who've watched their people die to suicide. I think about doctors that aren't afraid to treat patients - especially those complicated, tough cases. I think about sisters and brothers who endure years living in difficult circumstances with siblings who are suffering from mental illness. I think about parents. 
I think about us. I think about the day we drove away from the hospital and entrusted them with our son because we couldn't keep him safe. I would do anything not to feel that way again and talking* about it, writing about it and remembering it gives me hope that if we can deal with it better next time. 
We're always at risk for a next time. 

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 Julia Roberts is a writer, speaker and strategist. She can be found at *My son knows and supports writing about his issues publicly and I will until he has an issue with it. We talk about it a lot - about the time he was so sad he wanted to die. It never leaves any of us, least of all him. 


  1. Preventing suicide? WHY?
    Suicide is the ultimate expression of a person's autonomy: That courage should be applauded.

  2. I guess that's a real important day for providers of medical assistant training online, considering it's one of the main things they want to avoid.