Would you know what to say if someone you loved was contemplating suicide?
Galen Emery was in high school, struggling with his parents’ divorce and silently suffering from bullying. His older brother Arthur was away at college and noticed his little brother becoming more and more withdrawn. Digging through 14-year-old Galen’s computer, Arthur found a suicide note.
What he did next is a lesson for all of us. Arthur called his older brother for advice and was told to get in touch with a child psychologist. The advice he received was simple, ask.
Arthur went to Galen and asked him directly, "Are you having thoughts of suicide?"
That was the beginning of peeling back the wall.
"I care about you. I'm here for you. You matter to me. I love you," Arthur told Galen.
Galen says it best. "Words matter, actions matter." We can make a difference by connecting with the people we care about. That is the message they want to share.
Arthur is the founder of The Learning Professionals - a tutoring company working with hundreds of elementary through high school students in Washington state. He sees first hand the stress and pressure kids are under, especially as they approach college age.
Galen is now a software executive and stresses the importance of therapy in his life. He's worked hard to stay in touch with his feelings of anxiety and depression. No to mention, he's engaged to be married this summer!
Both are committed to spreading the word about suicide prevention and have appeared on NPR. They are also working with Forefront in Seattle and the JED Foundation - which are focused on suicide prevention and emotional well-being.