- Freshman Year of College: Danger Zone for Mental Health
- Is "Next to Normal" Normal?
- Top Ten for College Freshman, ND talk scheduled on Sept 30th
- Struck by Living Top Ten for Mental Health
- Can an Obstacle Prevent Suicide?
- Convincing the Stubborn to Accept Mental Health Care
- Dr. Oz Ventures Bravely into ECT
- Mental Hygiene: Preventative Care for Mental Health
- Why does the Stigma of Mental Illness Persist
- Don't Omit from the Obit
- Struck By Living Top Six
- Glenn Close as Albert Nobbs: Truth from the Inside Out
- Purpose and Perspective: Critical Ingredients for Mental Health
- Innovation: An Antidote for Depression
- Brice Beaird's Song "Hold on to Me"
- Interview with American School of London Graduate Charlie Marsh
- Why? The Enigma for Those Left Behind from Suicide
- Blogs on Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
- Bir Sur 21 Miler
- Walk for Hope Talk in Harrisonburg, VA/Trip To the University of Notre Dame
- Inspiration from the Pecos Wilderness
- Dump the Shame, not the Pills
- Introspection: A Key Ingredient for Mental Health
- The Necessary Glue for Wellness
- Becoming an Orphan
- A Positive Change with Nature's Help
- Why is the Teen/Young Adult Suicide Rate Increasing?
- Memory and ECT
- Dancing with Words in Decatur
- Flourishing with Help from Marty
- Don't let the Dragon Steal Christmas
- You're Just LIke Me
- The Prison of Independence
- Catch up on Events
- Spalding Gray: The Power of a Dandelion
- Book review done by GInny Sparrow
- Impressions of the American Association of Suicidology
- Headed to San Marcos to hear Thomas Joiner
- Next to Normal Take II
- Texas Suicide Prevention Conference in San Marcos
- Watching Out for the Gorilla
- Link to June Talk in 2010 at the Darien Public Library
- Two excellent articles recently in the NY Times
- Linehan Leads the Way for Honesty in Clinical Practice
- High Suicide Rates in Korea
- Beyond Winning
- Music as a Healing Instrument and Barometer
- Lawyers with Depression
- My Trip to Dr. Oz
- Know Yourself: A Message from Hildegard Von Bingen
- Hildegard: The First Encounter
- Think Pink: University of Notre Dame/NAMI Project Hope Walk
- TWU Inspires a Fresh Look at the Struck by Living Top Ten
- American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, Out of Darkness Walk, Dallas 11-10-12
- Remembering Mom During the Holidays
- Blogs Regarding Gun Violence
- Aches and Gains Radio Show to feature me (Julie Hersh) this Saturday
- College Top Ten Revised
- Article Published in the Dallas Morning News
- Finding My Pace at Big Sur
- Phoenix House and CA Maternal Mental Health conference
Blog » Texas Suicide Prevention Conference in San Marcos
Texas Suicide Prevention Conference in San Marcos
Last Thursday I traveled to San Marcos with good friend Jane LeVieux who is a long term family friend, who I've reconnected with in the last year because of our intense interest in mental health. Jane is a psychiatric nurse and consult liason for Children's Medical. When I say long-term, I mean it. in the summer of 1967, my parents asked her parents if we (meaning all 5 of us kids and my parents - 7 total to be combined with the 7 people in the LeVieux family), could move in with them for a couple of weeks because the house we were building in Annandale, VA was not quite ready. Jane's parent's agreed. 2 weeks expanded into 8 weeks which contain now myth-like, stand-by-me-ish stories which we all exchange. Jane and I drove down to San Marcos for the Texas Suicide Prevention Council event - organized and executed by about 30 different Texas organizations intent on reducing the suicide rate (http://www.texassuicideprevention.org/about.asp). I went, I admit, because I am sort of a Thomas Joiner groupie. His work is some of the best I've seen on suicide - years of research, many books, perhaps the most read being Why People Die by Suicide.
Joiner's relaxed yet well-informed style was worth the drive. So often in psychology the "experts" get to the point where they seem unopen to new ideas, so use to the admiration of their followers that they forget to view their own work with a critical eye. Joiner strikes me as the kind of guy who always sees room for improvement and more information. He talked about his book The Myths of Suicide. His book in process, Lonely at the Top, promises to be as good if not better than his other works. I ordered Myths (not available for sale at the even or on Kindle - so you KNOW I must like this guy). I gave him a copy of Struck by Living and hopefully he'll like the book and give a plug.
Also was very impressed with Tom Ellis, a pscyhologist out of Menninger Clinic. Tom said we met before when I spoke at Menninger. When I charged past him to give a copy of my book to Joiner, Ellis took it in stride. Ellis's presentation dealt with the trends in treating suicidal patients. Considering I've seen a fair amount of these at the American Assn of Suicidology - I can tell you Ellis did a great job. He knows his stuff and has a sense of humor - two qualities essential for this type of presentation. Very strong overview of suicide stats, approaches, views on suicide contracts (get rid of them!) and research on what works and what doesn't. He recommended the following books: Cognition and Suicide:Theory, Research and Therapy (Ellis),Choosing to Live (Ellis,Newman),Cognitvie Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (Linehan), Treating Suicidal Behavior (Joiner, Rudd) and Managing Suicidal Risk (Jobes).
My favorite part of Ellis' speech was his emphasis on asking the hard question of suicidal ideation. He joked about the tendency for these patients to appear at 4:45p on a Friday afternoon, when our tendency is to ask "you're not really suicidal, are you?" The answer to that question often complicates our lives, but it is the one we need to continue to ask.
Really enjoyed listening to both these men - as well Scott Poland from NOVA Sourtheastern University and Alex Crosby from the CDC. Hats off to the Texas Suicide PRevention Council. I'll definitely attend again next year if invited. This was excellent information packaged in a compressed period of time. Well worth the trip.
And the family stories on the roadtrip down with Janie - priceless!