Monday, June 8, 2009

“A Message from Ty”

     As a physician I have personally seen the tragedies that suicide has evoked on my patients, their families and on my health care team.

One of my close personal friends and colleagues has suffered this most intimate loss of her son through suicide.  She has told me that there is not a single day in which she doesn’t question herself about why she could not prevent her son’s suicide.  “How could I not have known,” she said.  “ I was his mother, I should have known.”  Also she has asked, “What could I have done differently to give him the strength to overcome his crisis?”  This tragedy is replayed in her heart, mind, and soul, every day.

Prior to my arrival at the 8th Annual Jed Foundation Gala, I met privately with her and asked her—“What is the one thing that you would want me to say on a platform of this magnitude?” 


Today, her voice and her son Ty’s voice will be heard.

A message from Ty:

To my fellow students and young adults:  The pain of depression and isolation is worsened by alcohol and drug use.  Please know that alcohol and drugs may make you give in to an impulsive act to harm your self; that you would otherwise not do if you were not impaired.  Students, you may become dangerously impulsive with this combination.

To All Parents:  Please watch your children CLOSELY!  When we say we are FINE, we are actually freaking out, insecure, neurotic, and potentially explosive.  Please teach us and show us early in life that alcohol and drugs remove our inhibitions in a bad way.  Alcohol and drugs may initially make you euphoric, but will eventually make depression and emotional pain worse.

To My Parents and Friends:  Remember that I am trying to convince you that I am an adult, but don’t forget, I have not lived through the heart breaks, the car wrecks, or the death of a loved one.  I am still fragile.

To My fellow Friends and Students:  If I look depressed, withdrawn, angry, or potentially harmful—Call my parents, call anyone and everyone for help, I will forgive you later.  

I will love you forever.


As a physician and parent, I now challenge each and every one of you to:

      Become more educated

       Become better friends

        Become better listeners

Encourage others to find the voice inside of them to ask for HELP!

Some day, you may just be that friend that saves a life!

I would like to thank Style Network for this opportunity to deliver this message to you.

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