I spend much of my time in meetings with many different groups monthly in between my responsibilities to LLB and KSF. I have met some really great people, a very diverse group of people that have come together to work to help save lives. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to travel to Portland this week with the founders of Walk The Talk America, Michael Sodini and Jake Wiskerchen to help them with one of their trainings. They have been sponsored by Yamhill County to put on their Guns and Mental Health seminar. I am very blessed to be teaching part of the seminar. There is an intersection between gun safety, accident prevention, and suicide prevention. I will be showing the attendees different firearms. I will be showing them how they all work, answering any questions that they might have and hopefully dispelling any rumors that might be preconceived. Many of those that will be in attendance are clinicians, doctors, and state or county employees. There is a good chance that they have little or ZERO experience with firearms or maybe they are against them. I look forward to doing what I do to show them what it is like to own firearms. Safety and proper storage will be a big focus of mine.
Kids are facing many issues in today’s day and age. Technology, online learning, and increased isolation has led to increased suicide rates in our children. Cyber bullying has became a big problem which has been a big part of this problem. Keeping your firearms out of the reach of hormonal teens will help create the space needed to save their life. It’s important to teach our kids that there are setbacks in life, it’s how they deal with those setbacks that is important. We need to be normalizing these talks about mental health in our circles of friends. I try to be pretty transparent about my own challenges in with mental health. The goal is to let people know that they are not alone and there is help available if they want to reach out. What people need to realize is, that it is OK to NOT be OK. We all have ups and downs in life. We are resilient and WE matter. As painful as it might be in the short term, the trauma caused by the act of suicide. Will last a lifetime for your family. These are the unintended consequences and why many view suicide as a cowards way out or selfish. Both may be true depending on your perspective. I’m not here to judge, but to offer support and empathy. I see you, I hear you, and there is help available. All you have to do is reach out. Until next time. Be safe!
Mental Health Resources:
National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255
Walk The Talk America
Hold My Guns