Find the Good News with Oran Parker

Ep. 50 - The Stigmata Ft. Kevin Yaudes & Ramie Thibodeaux - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

July 31, 2019

If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

I’ve often wished that I could see the private sufferings of the people around me, to behold their secret worries, fears, and pains on a scale of colors. That may sound dismal to some, but it doesn’t to me. I feel that if I could clearly see their pains, then I’d know exactly what ingredients to include in their particular medicinal balm. A caution light—flashing bright red—I’ve imagined what it would be like if people came equipped with such a signal. It would let others know they had reached the edge of what they believe can be tolerated, and that they are considering taking their own life. In reality, seeing the burdens people carry inside takes a more delicate awareness than my color warning fantasy could muster. Knowing what to do when the red light is flashing takes a set of skills that are sorely needed in Calcasieu Parish. In an attempt to understand these skills, I asked the Assistant Professor of Psychology at McNeese State University, Dr. Kevin Yaudes and Director of Student Health & Development at McNeese State University, Ramie Thibodeaux, to share their experiences and knowledge on suicide prevention with me on Find the Good News. Kevin began our talk with a sobering fact—the suicide rate in Calcasieu Parish is 42% higher than the national average, making death by suicide more common in our region compared to other areas of Louisiana. While Kevin and Ramie could not definitively say why there is such a disproportionate amount of suicides in our area, they did share ways that each of us can help. Kevin believes we need to have more open and healthy conversations about suicide, not just among mental health professionals, but in the actual tribes that make up our communities. Suicide is dyed in manifold pain and grief, a subject with deep stains compared to other mental health-related topics. Kevin and Ramie both working passionately to remove the stigmata from the issue of suicide, bringing it out of the shadows and into the light where it can be discussed in healthy and healing ways. The upcoming Out of Darkness walk on September 21, 2019, in Lake Charles, Louisiana is just one of many national events taking place in September that have been created to bring suicide into the public dialogue. The Out of Darkness Walk is designed to bring families, friends, and survivors together in solidarity, understanding, and love while raising funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. As a family member of a suicide survivor, I understand all too well how deep the stigma of suicide stains the fibers of your life. I have experienced the verbal dancing that takes place to avoid talking about suicide openly. As a man that was lead to suicidal thoughts through mind-altering medications, I have seen just how seductive depression can be, and how dark and lonely the hole is. I have been one of the lucky ones twice in my life, and I know that silence is not a solution. I’ve received second and third chances. These have tilled my heart, allowing compassion to bloom for those contemplating suicide. Unlike my colorful imaginings, we can’t see the various tints of pain and despair that lead to suicidal thoughts. As Kevin proposes, we can change the way we talk about suicide, and who we talk about it with. More than that, we can each take steps to cultivate awareness, greater listening skills, loving-kindness, and—most important of all—conscious presence for those exhibiting suicidal signs.

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FOR MORE INFO ABOUT DR. KEVIN YAUDES >> wwww.facebook.com/kevin.yaudes

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FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THE OUT OF DARKNESS WALK >> https://www.facebook.com/events/376325236256582/

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