The journey of life is an intricate tapestry, woven with moments of joy, sorrow, love, and challenges. Amongst these diverse threads, some experiences are harder to discuss than others, but they are equally essential to address. Suicide, a subject that often remains shrouded in silence, is one of those difficult topics that we must confront. In this blog post, we delve into the realm of emotions, questions, and real stories surrounding suicide. Let us reflect on our own lives and the impact of this profound struggle, both personally and within our circles.

The Weight of Darkness: Have We Ever Thought of Suicide?

It is a question that demands honesty and vulnerability. Despite the stigma surrounding suicide, it is crucial to recognize that fleeting thoughts of despair can affect anyone. The pressure of modern life, mental health challenges, and overwhelming circumstances can sometimes lead to thoughts that seem insurmountable. Acknowledging these feelings does not make us weak; instead, it allows us to address them with compassion and understanding.

If you have ever experienced such thoughts, know that you are not alone. Countless individuals have faced similar struggles, and there is no shame in seeking support. Reach out to friends, family, or professional resources – sharing the burden can lighten the load and provide a pathway towards healing.

My answer to the question is, yes. You cannot experience all of the losses, challenges, heartache and suffering at one time to not question life or living.

The Pain of Loss: Remembering Loved Ones

Regrettably, many of us have encountered the heartbreak of losing someone we care about to suicide. The profound impact of such a loss can leave a void that feels impossible to fill. It is in these moments of grief that we realize the pressing need for open conversations about mental health and the importance of support networks.

Remembering those we have lost to suicide, we must pledge to shatter the silence surrounding mental health struggles. By speaking up, we can create a world that nurtures empathy, understanding, and resources for those who need it the most.

When asked if I have experienced the loss of someone to suicide, my response is a solemn "yes." The memories rush back, each one etched in my mind like a haunting tapestry of pain. I was just a young child when I learned that my best friend's father had taken his own life. The devastating scene played out before my innocent eyes, as he arrived at the house, beckoning everyone to the window or door. In a horrifying moment, he pulled out a gun and ended his life in front of his ex-wife and children, leaving a trail of heartbreak in his wake.

Years later, as a freshman in high school, I found myself grappling with the tragedy of another life lost to suicide. An upperclassman in my journalism class, who I had spoken to on several occasions, had succumbed to the unbearable weight of his struggles. Our teacher, also his neighbor, discovered him hanging from a tree, his life cut short by the cruelty of bullying and relentless taunting. As my teacher recounted the heart-wrenching story, I couldn't help but notice the faces of some students in the room who had played a part in this boy's suffering. It was a stark reminder of the impact our actions and words can have on others, and I wondered if those responsible would ever realize the consequences of their cruelty.

The pain didn't stop there. Tragedy struck my family when my mother received the devastating news that her own brother had taken his life. His despair had reached an unbearable point after a heated dispute over his children, culminating in a dramatic and fatal decision. The anguish and turmoil he must have experienced before reaching this point remain unfathomable.

I believe all of these incidents contribute to my passion in helping others in feeling good and in feeling safe #TwoRules. Our nephew committed suicide as a young adult, I have lost only one student to suicide I am aware of, but know of many they tell me I have saved from the decision to try.

These heart-wrenching stories serve as stark reminders of the urgency in addressing the deeper issues of mental health, bullying, and the importance of nurturing a compassionate and supportive environment for everyone. The echoes of pain from the past resonate with the current plight of many young souls facing similar struggles today. It is a collective responsibility to create a world where love, empathy, and understanding triumph over darkness, offering a glimmer of hope to those who feel lost and alone. May the memories of those we've lost spur us into action to prevent such tragedies from claiming more precious lives.

The Struggle and The Support System

Life's challenges can sometimes feel overwhelming, and during such times, a strong support system is like a lighthouse, guiding us through the storm. A support system can comprise family, friends, mental health professionals, or even support groups. These pillars of strength offer comfort, a listening ear, and a shoulder to lean on.

However, we must also recognize that even the most robust support systems have their limits. Mental health issues can be complex and multifaceted, requiring specialized care and attention. At times, seeking professional help becomes necessary to navigate the depths of our emotions.

Breaking the Silence: Sparking Conversations on Mental Health

As we reflect on the struggles faced by ourselves and others, let us pledge to break the silence surrounding mental health. Conversations about mental well-being should be normalized, just like discussions about physical health. When we share our stories, we open doors for compassion and understanding, paving the way for healing and recovery.

If you know someone who might be struggling, reach out with empathy and care. Let them know they are not alone and that there is no shame in seeking help. Together, we can build a world that nurtures mental health and supports those in need.

Lighting the Way Towards Healing

Reflecting on our own life journey and the impact of suicide, we realize that compassion and support are vital tools to battle the darkness of despair. By breaking the silence and fostering understanding, we can create an environment where mental health is prioritized, and no one feels alone in their struggles.

Let us be the beacon of hope for those who need it, reminding them that there is strength in seeking help and that healing is possible. Together, we can navigate the depths of emotions, spark meaningful conversations, and build a world where love and support triumph over despair.

#theconversationmatters #TwoRules #Bethesolutiondaily #theenvisionspeakersseries #thequestionguy #youmatter #mentalhealth

The following is a campaign from NASSP for leaders to actively contact their legislators to take federal actions on five key areas to support the needs of districts to handle the mental health crisis we are experiencing across our nation. Please consider coping these words to use in your communications to legislators, on your social platforms, in all of your communications to your local community partners to also contact legislators and I thank NASSP for the powerful wording used below.

Schools across the country are experiencing a mental health crisis. Students and educators need more federal support, and Congress can do five key things right now that would tackle this growing crisis:

Our students and our schools cannot wait. We need action now! #PrincipalsForMentalHealth


Dear ___________,

According to NASSP’s recent Survey of America’s School Leaders and High School Students, three-quarters of school leaders (73%) and students (74%) report they needed help with their mental or emotional health last year. I can also tell you that oftentimes students’ mental health challenges manifest themselves as behavioral issues, putting further stress on educators who are already stretched too thin. One-half of school leaders (51%) reported in the survey student behavior is worse than before the pandemic, with the majority concerned about online bullying (85%), in-person/physical bullying (82%) and drug use (80%) in their school. A significant portion (82%) of school leaders also identified using federal funding to increase the number of school psychologists, counselors and other health professionals as important.

School leaders are uniquely positioned to leverage trauma-informed strategies to address the enormous wave of social, emotional, and mental health needs among students, but frankly, we need increased federal support to do it. For that reason, I support the following policies, and I urge you to take action on them:

Collectively, this legislation and funding would greatly expand our ability to recruit, hire, and train school based mental health professionals; require the Department of Education to research and disseminate student and educator mental health best practice guidance; establish new school mental health grant programs; and increase partnerships between schools and community mental health providers.

With this support, I truly believe that we can make great strides towards taking better care of our students and put them in a situation where they can succeed academically. For many, that simply isn’t possible while they are struggling to cope with intense mental health challenges. Please help us help them by supporting this important policy in 2023.



Over the past decade, we can see a trend of an increase in addressing the needs of mental health. The global pandemic added to this increase; in addition, the pressures of social media and societal changes increase the forces felt by not only our children but all.

Today is the day to begin to address these issues. We cannot wait any longer to start placing plans to act to help all of our children and adults. Consider also transitioning to a Two Rule school as you approach implementing all of these supports to provide everyone with the opportunity to feel good and feel safe at school. Be the solution daily in a world that needs you.

Expectations, Directions and Orders

Do you have expectations for others? What about yourself? Do you have expectations for yourself? Do others place expectations on you? Do you have directions or orders to accomplish?

Exactly what are the differences? How do you handle these as a leader, staff member, parent, and student?

Quotes about learning

These are just a few quotes about learning, and I did not put who they belong to, but I will during the week. Which one from the list would you select as your learning quote? Maybe you have one of your own; please share.

Inspire

Take a little time this week to inspire someone or others. Holiday times are not always great times for everyone. Sometimes these days are mixed with memories of lost ones, illness, or difficult struggles we are not aware of in the lives of others. Help provide a little inspiration by letting people know there is always hope in the world with people like you.

Checking In

I received a phone call right before Thanksgiving that shocked me. My husband experienced some health issues a few months ago. Not to tell they entire story to take away from my purpose in this post, it was disturbing news and we did not get the quality care with answers. My husband, niece, and nephew are in the medical field. My niece asked one of the doctors she works with for an opinion, and they were all so helpful. This young 55-year-old doctor went into her office and committed suicide this past week.

A young woman, in the practice of saving lives each day, took her own life. I did not meet her personally, but I was thankful for her help. I was so saddened by this news. It reminded me of how checking in and out with students each day is something we should do with everyone.

I had a system of a protocol as a middle school principal that no bus would be unloaded until an adult was there to welcome them to school. Adults would also be present to send them home with a positive of can’t wait to see you tomorrow. Let’s talk more about checking in and out this week.

Are you holding on? What are you holding on to?

I like to ask questions of others, but I ask myself questions a great deal as well. It helps as you reflect and grow not only as a professional but as an individual.

In our world today, problems multiply faster than solutions are found. Anxiety and depression rise to the response of rapid fire, and it trickles down to touch the youngest members of our families and society.

More kids are dealing with anxiety and depression, as reported in Research Update: Children’s Anxiety and Depression on the Rise;

As I asked questions, I reflected on mental health issues as October is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I concluded several points.


Anxiety and depression do not have a window from 2016-to the present day. The pandemic did create fear, anxiety and depression. As an educator, I can recall other times I have seen mental health and depression peak.

These reports and research are conducted frequently, but we continue to experience mental health increases. A strategic plan to support an active approach toward resolving mental health is needed.

These are some of the things I know from asking questions:


I am the Lord your God, who holds your right hand, and I tell you. “Don’t be afraid. I will help you.”Isaiah 41:13 NCV

Remember when you were little, and an adult would hold your hand when crossing the street? They would look down at you and say, “What do we do when crossing the street or walking in a parking lot?”

You’d repeat what they told you repeatedly in your little kid's voice: “We grab an adult’s hand and look both ways.” Goodness, I would love to see this happening more today. My youngest grandson has the most challenging time listening right now, so I understand it takes patience and working with children.

I think the world’s advice right now is what our parents taught us as children. Hold out your hand and grab hold tight. We do not need to be afraid, and remember, we have so much help! People will reach out and help. Remember the words of Isaiah 41:13.

If you need help, please reach out!

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"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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