To anyone out there who’s hurting —
it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help.
—Barack Obama—


The deaths by suicide of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have been front and centre of late. This has given some the courage to divulge information about family members who died by suicide. Others have spoken openly for the first time about dark periods in which they contemplated suicide.

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I have lived with depression and its evil twin sister, anxiety, for most of my adult life. The profound pain and darkness are real and, yes, many years ago, I too have looked at suicide as a way to end the agony that defies words. Thankfully, I have not been in that dark place for many years and I am filled with gratitude that I can enjoy my husband, children and grandchildren.


One of the damaging aspects of depression and its evil twin, anxiety, is that they rob one’s ability to feel joy. Life seems hopeless.  In my experience, depression tells  an assortment of lies, lies like:

“Victoria, you are not trying hard enough.”

“Melissa, you are broken and cannot be fixed.”

“Beth, you are the reason that bad things happen.”

“Julie, you do not deserve to have friends.”

“Janet, you have no reason to get out of bed.”

“Melanie, you are a burden to everyone.”

“Louise, your family would be better off without you.”



I am spending a couple of days in beautiful Digby Neck, more precisely, Sandy Cove. The weather is fine and the company even better. Today I met 25 new people and 2 instructors united in their desire to help anyone who feels suicide is their only option.

“Suicide is not chosen;
it happens when pain exceeds 
resources for coping with pain.”
—David L. Conroy—

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Nova Scotia is presenting A.S.I.S.T. (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) a two-day program created by LivingWorks


What is it? In short, it is suicide first aid. The program is for ordinary people over the age of 16. It teaches how  to RECOGNIZE that someone may be considering suicide and to create a PLAN to keep them safe for the next hour. Leave the counselling, diagnosing, prescribing to the professionals.

“Most people do not listen with
the intent to understand;
they listen with the intent to reply.”
—Stephen R. Covey—

Frequently, the best thing you can do for someone who is struggling is to clear your mind, put your hand over your mouth and LISTENLISTEN without interrupting…LISTEN without judging…no ifs, ands, or buts.   After all LISTEN and SILENT have the same letters.