Making a Difference: CRISISLINK benefit

It’s not uncommon for parents to approach me after I give a speech and tell me that their son or daughter has attempted suicide or successfully ended their own life. These are always heartbreaking moments and I am always at a loss for the right words.

What do you tell a parent when their child has committed suicide?

One of the most poignant encounters I have had was with two emotionally distraught parents who approached me after a speech in Philadelphia. The couple explained that their son had ended his life and then they told me that they were both psychiatrists. “Even we didn’t know how to save him,” the father said.  

Suicide is something that terrifies all of us who have a loved one with a severe mental illness.

Which is why I was both thrilled and honored when I was invited to participate in CrisisLink’s annual fund-raising banquet March 24, 2010 between 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Clarendon Ballroom, 3185 Wilson Blvd., in Arlington, VA.

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Books, Technology and the Future

Three comments:

(1.)  In the early 1990s, Tom Clancy and I shared the same New York literary agent. Clancy was on a roll, having published a string of international best-sellers. He was being called the father of the “techno-thriller,” a new genre that combined accurate information – about military tactics and weapons – with a fictional adventure stories.

So I was surprised when my agent told me that Clancy was putting writing aside for a few months to concentrate of developing a video game.

Huh?

Why I wondered, would someone who was at the top of the writing game and was earning millions of dollars worldwide bother to waste time creating a computer game?

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‘Speeches’ Dates, Times and Info Updated

The “Speeches” section of PeteEarley.com has been updated now to include specific addresses (as they are available) as well as links to maps and ticket/registration information. There is also an interactive map that plots all of Pete’s speeches throughout the United States. If you are in charge of an event Pete is speaking at and the information listed is wrong, please contact me at [email protected]. If you are interested in having Pete speak at an event of yours, email [email protected]

Linda’s Story: Part Two

Joan Bishop tried to help her sister, Linda, after she developed a severe mental illness while she was in her 40s. But Linda didn’t want her help. She refused treatment and medication and Joan’s attempt to obtain a guardianship over her sister was rejected by a judge.

After a drunk driving incident, Linda got further into trouble by throwing a cup of urine at a correctional officer while  in jail. She was charged with a felony. Eventually, she was involuntarily committed to the New Hampshire State Hospital, but she refused treatment and would not take medication. After a year, she was released without any follow-up.

Because Linda had refused to sign a HIPPA wavier, Joan had no idea that her sister had been discharged until several months later.

What follows now comes from a journal that Linda began writing four days after her discharge.

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Linda’s Story: Part One

If you had known me as a child, you would not have suspected that I would become an author. I was horrible at spelling and poor at grammar. As a teenager, I wasn’t much of a reader, either. But I always have been fascinated by people and their experiences and some of my favorite memories are of the times when my father, a minister, would take me with him at night to go “call” on members of his church. I don’t think many preachers actually visit people at their homes anymore, but in the 1960s in rural Colorado, they did and I discovered early on that nearly everyone has a story to tell.

Help Us Improve the Blog

My name is Evan and I’m Pete’s son and also one of the main curators of his website. Between my brother and I, we redesigned and have been moderating this new site, including the blog. My Dad and I have been overwhelmed by the immediate success of this blog and it’s all thanks to you – the reader. We have seen the website statistics jump and almost double since the launch of the new PeteEarley.com. A large part of this reason is the blog. And because we have gained so much from you all, we want to provide an opportunity to make it a better experience for you.

I have read a few comments asking or suggesting some certain things to be added to the blog, such as following widgets, etc. I wanted to open the discussion to all the readers of the site.

What do you want to see on this blog that would make the experience better? Don’t focus so much on content, as that is Pete’s decision, not mine, but stuff that would make this blog more accessible. Such as RSS feeds or Twitter linking, etc. What features do other blogs that you read have that we don’t and you want? Also, are there currently problems you have with the way the blog is now? We want to make improvements as suggested by those who are most intimately involved with the blog each day.

Please keep the comments civil and constructive. I will be monitoring them the next couple of days and will take all the suggestions seriously. Thank you for reading and for making this blog a success so far!