I am a 25-year-old looking to do the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail in one year. This is also known as the calendar triple crown of hiking. I am looking to bring awareness to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention throughout the hike as well as keep a daily blog of my travels to allow those that wish to follow along. Also on this site are a couple of my past blogs about both the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Pacific Northwest Trail.

If you’re interested in travel, this is a fun blog. Jeff is getting close to completing his mission and looking back through his photos and stories is pretty fascinating.

More importantly, he’s doing all of this in the name of suicide prevention, which many of you know is something very important to me as well.

Link – Join Us for World Mental Health Day on October 10 #WMHD

“This year, we’re inviting you to join us for the 6th annual blog party on Monday, October 10. Mental health is important to all of us, and we need your help to spread that message! So how do you join in on the party?

The World Health Organization’s Mental Health Day topic this year is psychological first-aid, the kind of mental health help that is provided to people after a crisis, like a hurricane, school shooting, some other tragedy, or terrorist event. What is psychological first-aid?

Participation in the blog party is easy. All you need do is commit to publishing a blog entry on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, about a mental health issue that’s close to your heart. While you’re encouraged to write about psychological first-aid or how you survived a crisis, natural disaster, or some other traumatic event in your life, you can write about anything mental-health related that will help get the word out.”

If you’re blogging about anything, why don’t you take a day to talk about mental health, and help raise awareness for how wide-spread this problem truly is, and how many people all around us are dealing with this everyday. It’s not just “those people” it’s all of us.

Link – Step by step we’re breaking the bonds of mental health stigma

“Thankfully, these stigmas have decreased somewhat over the last few years, and young people are feeling a bit better about reaching out, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. It will take everyone’s commitment to continue to lend shoulders and ears when people are struggling, consider our own attitudes to mental health, raise societal awareness of the issues and gain more understanding. We can all do our bit to encourage positive action and make a difference. Taking one constructive step at a time will help. One of the biggest problems is the stigma that exists through stereotypes, slang and discrimination, so we can do our best not to use unhelpful language. We can find ways to offer support and comfort, so those affected know they’re not alone. There’s absolutely no valid reason why mental health should be a taboo, or for anyone to feel embarrassed. We all exist on the mental health spectrum and those with diagnoses need not see themselves as being ultimately defined by it; it’s just one aspect of who they are, as a unique, fully rounded person.”

There are positive signs out there, but we’re still a long way from living in a stigma-free world where a mental health struggle is just part of someone’s story, not the end all be all of how they are viewed by their family and friends.

We’ll get there though..

Promote Hope, Healing and Help to Prevent Suicide

“Talking about suicide is one of the best ways to prevent it.  But how we talk about it is critically important. When addressing the topic of suicide, it is essential to convey messages of hope, healing and help.  “

It is so important to stay hopeful in the face of depression and suicidal thoughts. Depression is a sickness that zaps hope, and tries to tell us that there is no hope. Combatting that requires replacing that. So be hopeful, and then get in touch with some of the resources listed in the linked article.

Link – Awesome Mental Health Resources You Probably Didn’t Know About

I’ve discovered two awesome mental health resources you probably didn’t know about, both of which are absolutely free. Whether you like mental health and psychology apps, or psychology and mental books, one of these services can have the potential to change your life.

Always happy to share good resources, so go check out what Psych Central has found!

Link – What Tig Notaro’s New Show Gets Right about Child Sexual Abuse

Although it’s estimated that one in 10 children will be sexually abused before age 18, it’s rare to see a TV series deal with the reality of child sexual abuse. There’s so much about the issue that One Mississippi gets right.

I’m not a subscriber of Amazon video, so I can’t comment on the show myself. It is nice, however, to read about a show that is taking on this subject with some sensitivity.

If you have seen it, what are your thoughts?

Link – Suicide Prevention Awareness: How to Ask


If I ask someone directly if they are thinking about suicide, I might make them think about it or act on it.


This is not accurate; there are numerous suicide first aid trainings being conducted in the world, and what research and trainings are teaching us is that you should ask someone directly about their thoughts of suicide. For example, “are you thinking about suicide?” or “are you thinking about killing yourself?”

Some may be wondering two questions about this reality:

What about asking, “are you thinking about hurting yourself” instead?

Do I have to say anything at all? And if so, why directly?

If someone you know is struggling, and you suspect they may be considering harming themselves, take a look at this article to help guide you in what to do for them. And ignore the myth!

Link – 9 Things People With Mental Illness Want Their Bosses To Know

Mental illness affects nearly one in five American adults in a given year. It brings about physical and emotional symptoms, none of which just disappear as soon as an individual steps through that office front door.

But having a mental health issue doesn’t make a person inept at his or her job. In fact, work may even help them manage their illness. Yet the stigma that mental illness is some sort of flaw still exists ? and that misconception (or the fear of it) could carry over into the workplace.

Below are just a few things those with mental health conditions wish their employers understood. Here’s what it’s really like to work with a mental health disorder:

There’s no question that the workplace is not friendly to anyone dealing with mental health issues, and yet given the large number of people who are dealing with them, it’s very likely there are a few working right around us on any given day. Wouldn’t it be great if we could understand that and act accordingly? These suggestions are a good place to start.

Link – ‘I Survived a Suicide Attempt’

BuzzFeed recently interviewed four suicide attempt survivors in a moving video. Each spoke about the challenges they faced that led them to attempt to take their own lives, and then about the ways they’ve learned to cope since then.

“It gets better,” one of the interviewees, whose name isn’t shared, says in the video below. “You are worth life. You are worth living. You are worth breathing.”


Link – Lisa Flynn reveals how she helps survivors of child sexual abuse

I never cease to be bewildered by how vile and evil some people are in this world. I never cease asking myself how someone’s internal makeup can be so deranged that they hurt a child when my own instinct is to protect them so fiercely.
I never cease to be absolutely gutted that another human being has had to endure so much pain in their life through no fault of their own. I never cease to be amazed and inspired by the courage that survivors of abuse show when they come forward and tell their story.
This is what keeps me doing what I do. I am honoured to stand beside these people as they tell their story. They do so often to make things better for others — so that no other child has to go through the hell that they have been through.

Good and evil exist in this world. Strength and courage exist right along with horror and sadness. Not many things demonstrate that more than knowing what survivors have been through, and seeing them go on despite it.