October 2010

Matt M. taking a moment to acknowledge his own battle, writing "I Survived".  We Love You Matt!

Breaking the Silence
Indiana Chapter Newsletter

Call to Action:  We need YOUR help!

Sign Petition to Overturn White House Condolence Letter Policy

Last November, the White House announced that it was reviewing the policy that prevents President Obama from sending a condolence letter to families of military service members who have died by suicide. 

While soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines on active duty who die by suicide receive full military honors at burial, the lack of acknowledgment and condolence from the president only leaves families of those who died with a feeling that somehow their sacrifices are worth less to our country than the sacrifices of other military families.

Please sign this petition to help us send the message that by overturning this policy on letters of condolence, the commander-in-chief can send a strong signal that America will not tolerate a culture in our Armed Forces that discriminates against those with a mental illness.Your introduction sets the tone for your newsletter and encourages the recipient to read further. Your style may be warm and casual, or technical and no-nonsense depending on your audience.

2 Indiana Out of the Darkness Walks in October
walk logoBLOOMINGTON- 10-10-10 @10am
The walk team would like to recognize some additional sponsorship support not previously mentioned in a Bloomington walk email: Ivy Tech, YMCA, KAIA, Midnight Run.
Additionally, the team would like you to know that the Opening Ceremony Music features:  Craig Brenner and KAIA Sings!  And, closing ceremony music features:  Midnight Run.
Current Stats: 232 pre-registered walkers
                      $8569.01 raised towards the $15,000 goal
FORT WAYNE- 10-23-10 @noon
We are excited to have the 1st annual Fort Wayne Out of the Darkness Walk join the AFSP Indiana Chapter this year.  The Coordinator (Ashley Jones) has done an amazing job with limited time and resources for a first year walk. 
Current Stats: 128 pre-registered walkers
                      $4740 raised towards the $10,000 goal
Please register at www.outofthedarkness.org  to streamline your check in process at either event. 
THANK YOU for your support for the 2010 Out of the Darkness Indiana walks, and remember:  If you were unable to make it to one of the walks, or have donations that you still need to turn in, those donations can still be made through December 31st, 2010, in honor of a lost loved one or just to support the cause for 2010. 
INDY Walkers:  To Issue a Challenge, we would love to see the Indianapolis total reach $60,000 for 2010~ WE ARE $2500 AWAY FROM THAT GOAL, please help us reach that goal before December 31st.  You can continue to make donations online or if you are interested in mailing in a donation, please use the "OFFLINE DONATION FORM located in the gold box on the right hand side of the homepage at www.Outofthedarkness.org
Interested in Legislative Advocacy?
Be a part of a grassroots legislative action to forward the Suicide Prevention Efforts in our communities by becoming a Field Advocate with AFSP/SPAN USA.  Our goal is to have 435 Field Advocates across the country- one in every Congressional dirstrict in the US.  If you would like more information about becoming a Field Advocate or need the application: Click Here
In This Issue
2 Out of the Darkness Walks remaining in 2010 for Indiana
National Survivors of Suicide Day
Survivor Spotlight
Indiana Awareness in the Media
Article Headline
Quick Links
Join our Mailing List!
Find us on Facebook
Congratulations to the Indianapolis, Chesterton, Benton County, Munster and Richmond Out of the Darkness Walk Committees! Job WELL DONE!
A special "Thank You" to each coordinator:
Kimble Richardson(Indpls)
 Brandi Richwine(Indpls)
 Carly Petersen(Chesterton)
Terri Goodman(Benton)
Nancy Rodgers(Munster)
Misty Kissinger (Richmond)
 Additional "Thank You's" to all the volunteers and supporters that came out to each walk to ensure the events were a success. We couldn't do this without you!
Peace & Blessings to all the Survivors of Suicide Loss, Attempt Survivors, those living with the challenges of a depressive illness and the families and friends that came out to walk~ we do this for you, for each other, to join us as a community to support each other!
Help Us Save Our College Students
The AFSP Indiana Chapter is interested in GIVING our Interactive Screening Program (ISP) to two colleges or Universities in Indiana 
Interested?  We need your help in convincing your college or alma mater's student counseling office to implement this program
ISP Brochure
Interactive Screening Program
National Survivors of Suicide Day ~ November 20, 2010 
survivor day logo12th Annual Survivors of Suicide Day
November 20, 2010
for more information, visit the AFSP website


 Day of Healing for Survivors of Suicide Loss Around the World

Saturday, November 20, 2010
250 simultaneous conferences for survivors of suicide loss will take place throughout the U.S. and around the world. This unique network of healing conferences helps survivors connect with others who have survived the tragedy of suicide loss, and express and understand the powerful emotions they experience.
 There are currently 3 registered sites in Indiana:
University of Indianapolis-Schwitzer Student Center, 1400 E Hanna Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46229
Start Time: 1:00 pm EST
Website: www.afsp.org
Contact: Lisa Davis, lisadavis4afsp@hotmail.com , 317-430-5000
Penn-Harris Public Library, 209 Lincoln Way East, Mishawaka, IN 46544
Contact: Nicole Royer, nicole@royerservices.com , 989-607-7259
Harvest Ridge Church at 95th Office Center
9495 Keilman Street
Start Time: 11:30 a.m. CST
Fee: no
Contact: Karen S. Lawrence, clawrence5198@sbcglobal.net , 219-844-5198
Survivor Spotlight ~ Doris Jackson (Frankfort)
Anthony Jackson 

Written September 12, 2010


My son, Anthony, died of suicide on June 24, 2006.  He was 21 years old.  That was one of the most horrifying days of my life.


I must tell you about my son. First of all let me begin by saying, "He was NOT a loser."  He was one of the kindest and most compassionate people I have ever known.  He had a contagious smile, and he loved to make people laugh.  He loved people.  It didn't matter to him if you were young, old, rich or poor. He saw you as a person, not a title.  His compassion was never more evident than when he was in high school. He gave up his position as first chair in orchestra, just so the teacher could see how well another student played. My son felt as if this student had been overlooked, and he wanted the teacher to see his friend's talents.

I had several people remark to me after my son's funeral that they had never seen such an eclectic group of people in one place. We had people from every walk of life attend his service. That was a testament to my son.  He loved everyone.


My son was my baby. Yes, he was a "Mama's boy." Even as a young man, he didn't care to come up, put his arm around me, and plant a huge kiss on my face.  Sometimes, and if he were alive, he would be embarrassed now; he would crawl in my lap and say, "Rock me, Mom."  He even told me when he was on the crucible walk with the Marines; he sang the song "Be Oh Baby" to himself over and over to get to the finish.


My son was not perfect, by any means.  He was a great kid.  He made decent grades, and he didn't give his dad and me many problems as a teenager.  Now, as I look back, I realize my son was suffering from major depression.  I believe with all my heart that depression is why my son took his life, not because he was good or bad, but simply because he had a illness; an illness that took his life.


So I ask you, not to judge my family and me too harshly.  We loved Anthony with all our heart.  Did we make mistakes? "Yes" Did Anthony make mistakes?  Yes, but he was our son, and we lost!  We lost seeing him, being with him, laughing with him, and loving him on earth. 


I never knew there was such a stigma to suicide until it happened in my family.  So today, I ask you to treat us with kindness, dignity, and compassion.  We know our son was at a place where it hurt more to live than it did to die.  Stand by us and support us as we continue our grief journey and our fight with suicide prevention.



I have just finished reading the book, My Son, My Son, by Iris Bolton. She was a psychologist and her son died by suicide. At the beginning of her book she states that a colleague of hers came to her house and told her family their son's death was a gift. He told her, "It might not feel like it at first, but in order to receive the gift, you have to search for it.  It doesn't just come to you; you have to look for it." In writing this article, I am getting out of my comfort zone. I am reaching out to you, and I am searching for my gift.


Thank you,

Doris Jackson

AFSP / Awareness in the Indiana Media
34,598 people lost in the United States by suicide in 2007
 (most recent published statistics)
2007 statsSeptember 1, 2010- nwitimes.com-  A mothers grief
September 3, 2010 Indystar- Local resident turns loss into action
September 9, 2010 Noblesville Star- Loss of Son moves Mother to action
September 13, 2010 Post Tribune- Chesterton: Walkers aim to raise awareness!
September 13, 2010 Nwitimes.com- Chesteron: Walk shines beacon on suicide
September 19, 2010 IndyStar: Group Aims to raise awareness!
September 24, 2010 Pal-Item (Richmond) Out of the Darkness 
September 25, 2010 nwitimes.com- Munster- 3rd Annual Out of the Darkness Walk
Video from the 2010 Indianapolis Out of the Darkness Walk on Facebook
and a shortened version of the 2010 Indianapolis Out of the Darkness Walk video on youtube  
The Washington Post 

Gay suicide: Dan Savage, Ellen DeGeneres and what to do about bullying

Tyler Clementi
Tyler Clementi killed himself shortly after footage of himself streamed online. (AFP/Getty Images)

When columnist Dan Savage read about the suicide of 15-year-old Billy Lucas (Greensburg Indiana), he had the same reaction he has whenever he reads about the death of a teenager who struggled with bullies: "I wished I could talk to him for five minutes. I wished I could tell him that things change, that things get better."

A few days later, he wrote in his column: "Many LGBT kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids.... But gay adults aren't allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and churches don't bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied."

Savage realized he did not need to wait for an invitation to talk to the teenagers; he could use YouTube to speak to them directly. Last week, he and his husband, Terry, sat down before a camera and talked about their experience with bullying and how good their life became once they left school.

"We wanted to show them that happiness was possible in the future," Savage said in a phone interview.

He asked people to submit similar videos to a YouTube channel, It Gets Better. More than 200 videos have been uploaded to the site.  Read Full Story 

We cannot afford to be silent about Bullying any longer, it cannot be tollerated.  Out of Love and Compassion for another human being~  Don't be silent when you experience someone you care about being bullied in any way.  Stand with them... Stand for them.... Just STAND!  

(AFSP) Suicide and Anti-Gay Bullying

Recent news reports surrounding the suicide of several youth who were harassed with anti-gay sentiments continue to underscore the need for a concerted effort to address the harmful effects of anti-gay bullying. Multiple studies in the United States and abroad have shown that lesbian, gay and bisexual adolescents attempt suicide at a rate three to six times that of comparably aged heterosexual youth.

There is increasing evidence that much of the self-harm behavior reported among gay youth is related to anti-gay stigma expressed through bullying, harassment and violence. Further, studies show that children and adolescents whose appearance and personality traits do not conform to prescribed gender roles are often the target of anti-gay stigma, regardless of whether they consider themselves to be gay or lesbian. Such harassment can lead to feelings of isolation and despair, and, as has been shown through AFSP-funded research, is most likely to lead to suicidal behavior in youth who are already struggling with depression and related mental disorders. Data from many different studies in the United States and abroad point to significantly higher levels of depression in LGBTQ compared to heterosexual people of all ages.

As helpful as the media can be in shining a spotlight on anti-gay bullying and risk for suicide, scientific research has shown that some media reports about suicide can be harmful and contribute to contagion, or "copycat" suicides. Reporting graphic details of the suicide method, publishing photos of the victim and sensationalizing or romanticizing the suicide can inadvertently lead to copycat behavior, especially among vulnerable youth.

We encourage journalists reporting on all suicides to review the nationally recognized media recommendations developed by AFSP, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of the Surgeon General and a number of other suicide prevention and government agencies. Following these recommendations, available at www.afsp.org/media, can reduce the risk of contagion and help prevent suicide. 

AFSP is committed to bringing more research and attention to the issue of suicide in the LGBTQ community. Recently, AFSP formed a Chapter Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Issues and is in the process of developing crucial, scientifically-validated educational resources and training tools on LGBTQ mental health issues.

For more information about AFSP's LGBTQ Initiative, click here.

For journalists: Please contact AFSP for any assistance as you develop these stories and consider your coverage of these tragic events.

We (the AFSP Indiana Board of Directors) are so proud of the efforts of all the volunteers and survivors that are helping our Chapter thrive.  We are grateful for your commitment to see change happen in Indiana.  Issues of depressive illnesses and suicide can no longer be a secret conversation, or even a conversation we can avoid having.  Our communities are screaming for information, for assistance, for help.  Having survivors of suicide loss, attempt survivors and those struggling daily with depression unite as a community will make our voice strong and our message clear!  We will be the change that we want to see in the world.  We have a moral responsibility to help carry this load together.  Many years ago, illnesses like breast cancer, HIV/Aids, diabetes, were topics not discussed or acknowledged publicly~  Because survivors took a stand and made their voices heard, raised money to promote research and education, and supported each other as a community, we have seen significant change in the way these illnesses are viewed, talked about, detected and treated.  Depression's time has come!  It is TIME to be heard! 
Just wanted to share in case anyone missed the Sunday Morning CBS News on October 3, 2010
Lisa Brattain
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - Indiana Chapter
P.O. Box 1793
Noblesville, Indiana 46061
Silence the Stigma! Join us in our efforts to educate, raise awareness & support survivors of suicide loss
In the US, every 15 minutes someone dies by suicide. Every 16 minutes someone is left to make sense of it.