You know those puzzles we played as kids? Identify what’s wrong with a certain picture?
Last week’s guest tells us there’s a lot wrong with the picture of suicide and the way we look at it, deal with it, and avoid talking about it.
She became an entrepreneur by accident operating a home-based daycare business. There was a need, and she listened. Action was taken, and Jackie Simmons found success in the process.
Years later Jackie learned a secret her daughter was hiding. It happened one year ago.
“I was hosting an event and my daughter was speaking. She gave a 7-minute talk that not only rocked my world, it launched a mission.”Jackie Simmons
Jackie’s daughter shared a statistic from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): 3000 young people a day attempt suicide in the United States. What rocked Jackie’s world was when her daughter admitted she thinks of taking her life.
“When I was 14…”
Jackie’s daughter shared her multiple suicide attempts, which Jackie knew about. The problem, Jackie realized, is that they hadn’t talked about it for 20 years.
“I sold myself on the idea that if she was getting professional help, we didn’t need to talk about it. I didn’t know how deadly the silence could be until she shared that, at 37 years old, she still struggles with thoughts of suicide.”Jackie Simmons
Jackie wondered: “How could I have missed this…again?”
“Mom, I want to start a program helping teens learn coping skills BEFORE they need them.”Jackie Simmons’ daughter
The mission started with a book titled: Make it A Great Day, The Choice is Yours. It’s a collection of stories about breaking the silence of suicide.
Jackie and her daughter went into schools and began talking to teenagers. As much as she didn’t want to talk about this subject 20 years ago, Jackie feels she must talk about it today.
“I stood in a room of high school students and learned 100 percent of them had attempted suicide, knew someone who had attempted suicide, or knew someone who was successful at committing suicide. 100 percent!”Jackie Simmons
The tragedy is that parents to most of these kids would believe their child is “normal” and would never attempt suicide; that they’d be able to see the signs.
Jackie told us on her interview that “normal” IS thinking of suicide. Most kids think about it. Because of the stigma which surrounds suicide, they don’t tell anyone they’re thinking about it. Then, they try not to think about it. They try so hard to not think about it, that it becomes something they can’t stop thinking about.
“You can go the websites like CDC, and NAMI, and they’ll provide the warning signs of suicide. But here’s what bothers me about those checklists:”
- Most people don’t know there’s a checklist until after someone they know has committed suicide or attempted to do so.
- There’s no disclaimer on any of the checklists I could find which states “There may have been no signs…“
Jackie calls that a ticket to Shouldville. “I should have seen it; I should have done something.”
Jackie claims to have lived in Shouldville for over 20 years.
Have you ever lived in Shouldville? Get out quickly!
The Suicide Risk Indicators
“You or your family might be at risk for suicide if someone in your family…”
- Struggles with a chronic illness or chronic pain
- Has an addiction of any kind (being right, being on devices, chemicals, drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.)
- Struggles with ongoing financial issues
- Knows someone who’s tried or died
- Has something about them that’s a little different (disability, accent, new in town)
WE ARE ALL AT RISK
Jackie had too many helpful tips to share them all in this blog post, and it’s worth listening again and again to her interview.
Listen to it right here right now. Jackie Simmons Life Mastery Radio Interview It could save a life.