E8 How to Talk About Teen Suicide with Megan Sladen Parent

Episode Description
*Warning: This episode is about a very heavy topic. If you or a loved one is struggling with thoughts of suicide or emotional distress, please contact the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255) and seek professional help. You are worth it!*

Suicide is a heavy topic, especially among parents, but it’s one our society does not address nearly enough. With the rise in depression and anxiety among teens, the suicide rates have sadly gone up as well. Today we are joined on the podcast by Megan Sladen Parent, as we chat about how to spot warning signs in your teens, how to talk about suicide with them, and so much more.

About Megan: “Megan Sladen Parent began her education career in the late 90’s as a high school teacher. She spent 14 years as a classroom teacher and English Language Learner program coordinator. After earning a Master’s degree in school counseling, she began working in the Youth Development Office of a large Northern CA school district. She works with 6th-12th grade students who are using drugs, alcohol and tobacco as well as teaches workshops on mental health, bullying prevention, suicide prevention, substance use and other educational and social/emotional topics for students, staff and families.”

**National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Key Topics Covered in This Episode:

  • Megan’s background and what she does
  • Warning signs to look out for in teens
  • The positive and negative sides of technology in young people
  • Resources for parents and students
  • Debunking the myth of talking to young people about suicide and how important it is to talk about it with them
  • How to talk to young people about the topic of suicide

Connect with the hosts:

Learning Reimagined Podcast Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/learningreimaginedthepod/)

Allison’s Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/allidampier/)

Sandy’s Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sgamba29/)

AdvantagesDLS Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/advantagesdls/)


lr transcripts

Allison: [00:00:00] Hello, Good afternoon and welcome to Learning Reimagined. I’m Allison, and with me is Sandy. Hi, 


Sandy: Hi Allison. 

Allison: How are you doing? 

Sandy: I’m, I’m good. I’m good. And I, I 

have to say, I’m just, I’m very eager to hear from our speaker.

Allison: Yeah, we’ve had a bit of a heavy week here at Advantages. We lost one of our students to suicide and it’s, it’s part of the deal with the population we work with. We work with quite a few therapeutic schools where kids are being treated for anxiety and depression, along with substance abuse. So it’s

always in our minds that it’s a possibility. And I know that the, the schools we work with really do a lot for suicide prevention. And in the past we’ve had Claudia here, we’ve had Ryan here, all of which are great support systems and that they work very diligently in this realm. But today we have with us a person who works for a very large school district in California, and that is her job.

. Her career [00:01:00] is working with teens, so she’s really down in the trenches. We have with us today, Megan Parent Sladen. Megan began her education career in the late nineties as a high school teacher. She spent 14 years as a classroom teacher, as and as a English language learner program coordinator.

That’s a mouthful. , after earning her master’s degree in school counseling, she began working in the youth development office of a large Northern California school district. She works with six through 12th grade students who are using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and she also teaches. Workshops on mental health, bullying prevention and suicide prevention, substance abuse, and other educational, social, emotional topics for students, staff, and families.

We felt it was very timely to have Megan here, and so Megan, Sandy and I welcome you. Welcome to the podcast. 

Megan: Thank you so much for having me. And first off, I’m so sorry for your the tragedy that your school and, and that students, family and community are experiencing. It is [00:02:00] a, a really impossible thing to kind of get through sometimes, so I’m 

Allison: sorry.

Absolutely. Absolutely. Thank you. I appreciate it. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about. Who you are and what you do. 

Megan: Okay. Yeah, so I work in what’s called the youth development office, and our office does all kinds of auxiliary pieces to education. I work primarily with our substance using youth six through 12th grade.

I work one on one with them to provide supports link them to resources if they need outside resources, and sort of be a support to try to help them through their substance use. I also teach a bunch of classes. One of them is called Youth Mental Health First Aid, which is a fabulous course that is offered by the National Council for On Mental Wellbeing.

And it, you know, if you’re looking to learn more in your community, there are trainers across the nation. In Youth Mental Health First Aid. You can just Google it and, and find classes in your area. It’s a great course and kind of inform people about all kinds of different mental health issues young people are dealing with, and then how to, [00:03:00] how to help them.

I also teach them suicide prevention classes. I work with pregnant and parenting teens and also do some concentrated supports on for our LGBTQ population because they have a high, high rate of a suicide. And suicidal ideation. So basically kind of a catchall support for a lot of students who are going through a lot of intersectional pieces in their lives that could lead them to needing support.

Sandy: Megan, that sounds so comprehensive. so much to be said. And we’ve had many parents contact us through the podcast and just ask questions because not, not just for example, what we just went through in our school and our family, but just living right now through, we hear just in my local school district where I live, it’s, we’ve had, I wanna say 13.

Suicides in the last year and a half. Mm-hmm. , and it’s just alarming. And the [00:04:00] youngest was like the age of nine. So how, how do we, how do we address this? I, I just, we’re at a loss. 

Megan: It is incredibly alarming and honestly we won’t know the data coming out of this crisis that we’ve been living through for a while, but I think it’s gonna be pretty shocking.

When we do. Part of it is suicide is already the second leading cause of death for people aged 10 to 24. The only cause of death that’s greater than. is AC is accidental death and that encompasses everything. So drowning, car accident. Wow. Little shooting. So second to accidental death is suicide for that age range.

And I combine that with. The fact that young people, nearly everything they do, every decision they make is on the avoidance of loneliness. Young people need connection and need to be connected to people. They need acceptance. They’re trying to figure out who they are. And so we’ve been through, we’ve been isolated.

You know, a lot of young people have been isolated, which is [00:05:00] very hard on them. And then young people are impulsive and make impulsive decisions about everything. And it’s sort of a cluster of impulsive acts loneliness, isolation, desperation, and sort of not seeing a way out of the yuck that they’re feeling that’s super intense for them.

Yuck being a technical term there . And it is it’s gonna be extremely challenging. This isolation has been really difficult for all of us, but I think as an adult we have the perspective to see how one year fits in our long lives. When you’re 10, 11 years old, one year feels more like an eternity, and so, I think what we’re gonna find is, you know, the suicide rates are gonna be so much higher.

When we are experiencing the same thing, Sandy higher rate in our county of young people attempting and or completing suicide. It’s, 

Allison: it’s staggering and it’s terrifying at the same time. Just thinking ahead 

Megan: in 

Allison: previous podcast we’ve [00:06:00] spoken with Claudia, who’s a mental health expert. The ramifications of covid and the isolation, and, and she agrees with you that we don’t even know the depth of it, cuz it’s not going to be fixed.

Come September when kids are back in school. If they’re back in school mm-hmm. It’s not going to just go away. It’s going to be, I mean, a 10 year old, that’s one 10th of his life or her life that he or she has been in this isolation. So it is a really big deal. And to recover from all of this it, it’s, it’s scary.

Megan: So 

Allison: I’m a parent. I’m an educator. Sandy’s a parent. Same. And what are some warning signs that are typical for young people who’s thinking about suicide? What are some things. we can look 

Megan: for. That’s a great question. Most young people, their warning signs tend to be more verbal and more indirect.

So they’ll saying things like you’d be better off without me. You know, I wish I wasn’t around. I bet you wish I wasn’t around. Things would be so much [00:07:00] easier for you if I wasn’t here. These kind of veiled veiled. N they don’t tend not to say things like, I’m going to kill myself. I’m feeling suicidal.

It tends to be more indirect. And then a lot of it is posting. You know, social media plays a huge role in this. And a lot of times they’ll post things that are sort of veiled that, that things would be, or it’ll be, everything will be okay after tomorrow. I won’t have to worry about any of this sort of indirect messages.

The, the main thing families and, and educators who work closely with young people need to look for is changes in behavior, dramatic changes in behavior. So you know, if you have a student who has been sort of a good student, been sort of engaged with friends, and is then, you know, dropping in grades and or steering away from friends.

It’s very typical for adolescents to steer away from family. You know, my sure 14 year old and 13 year olds don’t really wanna hang out with me as much as they did [00:08:00] even a year or two, three years ago. But it’s not typical for them to want to avoid friends. So, If they tend to be, you know, not, not communicating with friends, sort of isolating themselves.

All of those are signs you can look at. They may not be in a suicidal crisis, but they would be indicators that there might be something going on mental health wise that you should, I always say when you, when you feel that spitey sense going off, that something’s just not right. Something’s not, not the same.

Allison: So if your student is, or your child is always been a little bit more shy in avoiding social situations, that’s not necessarily a red flag, right? It’s if they were. Engaged before and they’re withdrawing. 

Megan: Correct. Okay. Yes. Yeah. So it’s changed. You’re looking for change. Mm-hmm. and, And tends to be, and it could be changed for the positive.

If you have a young person who’s been really depressed and really struggling, struggling and overnight. They feel happy and jolly. That can be a warning sign that they have planned their suicide attempt and they have a way [00:09:00] out so that it’s an immediate abrupt relief for them. Now obviously like a slow transition out of depression into positivity is great and that’s what we’re looking for.

But when anytime you have an abrupt sort. 180 or you know, a young person who’s always loved to do, you know, a certain activity and they don’t wanna do that anymore, but they haven’t replaced it with something else. You know, it’s, it’s typical to outgrow activities and take on a different new activity or new new interest.

But to lose interest in all activities and not replace them with anything is something to look. I think it’s 

Sandy: just so tricky because of the unique circumstances that we’ve all been living the last month, year and a half, where that sense of isolation has kind of happened to all of us. And so trying to highlight that as a parent, as an educator, to help these young students to, to see that there is a, a broader [00:10:00] vision.

There’s the mm-hmm. , what does happen? And like Allison said, hopefully we are getting back to normalcy. We, we all see it as adults trying to, you know, get back to what we re, what we remember as being normal. 

Megan: Right? It’s just cause our, 

Sandy: as we ask for warning signs, it’s just. trusting that spy sense, like you said.

Megan: Yes. And, and the other thing we have to remember is most young people give warning signs to their friends. Oftentimes family members aren’t necessarily seeing them because the things they’re saying and doing and posting are directed more at, at their friends. And so if their friends don’t have. The initiative or the courage to kind of reach out to adults and let them know that these warning signs are there.

Oftentimes they’re missed by adults in their life, and again, You know, I, I as a, let’s say I’m a young person and I see warning signs in a friend. My first thought is gonna be, I can’t betray that friend. I can’t lose that friendship. You know, cuz that’s [00:11:00] my world, you know, as an adolescent. And I don’t want them to be mad at me or I don’t wanna be on the outs with them.

So it’s really hard for young people, even if they do see the warning signs, to reach out to the adults in their lives and let them know what’s going. 

Sandy: You know, Megan, you bring up such a good point about technology and that’s such a, a common go to for, for all of us. Pretty much. Yeah. A lot of our younger generation, that’s just their norm.

That’s how they communicate. What do you feel has the role of a technology has played into. 

Megan: It, it’s really complex because on the one hand it can kind of play a negative role and really increase a young person’s depression. There’s all kinds of research that shows that you know, as technology and screen time use go up, the rate of depression is linked.

You know, it correlates directly with that. There’s sort of a, a 90 minute a day sweet spot where. [00:12:00] Kids who get less than 90 minutes day of screen time tend to have higher rates of depression. They tend to be more isolated and disconnected. Kids within that 90 minute a day screen time range tend to have, you know, lower rates of depression and then 90 minutes and beyond the rates of depression increase with the hours of usage.

So in that sense, technology can play a really negative role. On the other hand, Technology has been a lifeline for a lot of young people for isolation, and it has really saved a lot of people because, you know, connecting with friends through video games has been the only way they can connect through friends or, you know, the texting and the sharing of, of pictures or, or looking at posts on social media has sort of.

You know, kept people avoiding them, you know, getting out of their isolation. So I don’t wanna come across in saying, you know, technology is bad and social media is bad, and it all leads to depression and, and can increase suicide. There’s elements of that for [00:13:00] sure. It all has to do in moderation and how it’s used, what they’re watching when they’re watching their, you know, hours of whatever they’re watching.

What kind of input they’re, they’re putting in and how they’re connecting with people through technology. So it’s kind of complex cuz it can be assistive. It also too much individual screen time and I, I define screen time as individual non-academic time where you are just, you know, scrolling through the hours of TikTok or YouTube or individual.

But you know, I mean, nowadays you can watch a movie with a friend who’s in another house and be sharing emojis back and forth. And so in that way technology can be really helpful. So it’s, it’s just a matter of, of moderating and the amount and what, you know, the, the technology is. There’s also a lot of great resources online for young people with mental health that if they’re using technology to access sort of mental health resources, there’s tons of Apps that can help with anxiety and depression and there’s all kinds of resources.

So technology is really [00:14:00] complex because, like I said, too much can lead to increased depression. Absolutely. So it’s really important to kind of pick and choose how you use technology with the young people so that they can get reaped the benefits without the negative. 

Allison: That’s, So that you said, you said 90 minutes.

Is that 90 minutes on a screen or 90 minutes of social? 

Megan: It’s basically, and again, you know, there’s, there’s conflicting research, but the bulk of research says 90 minutes of screen time, so that could be a movie, you know, social media and, and to me, you know, in my experience watching a movie, if you’re sitting down with friends watching a movie, that to me does not count as screen time because it’s collaborative, it’s social.

And watching a TV show with your, with your daughter or son, that’s social, that’s connective, you know? Mm-hmm. It’s a shared experience. So, you know, one of the things through this experience we have to realize is we’ve all had way over abundance of technology because it really kind of has been our only [00:15:00] outlet.

So to me it’s more the, the image of the young person that’s alone in their room. Individually scrolling through, you know, looking at pictures on social media, looking at posts, watching YouTube videos. That is what I consider sort of isolating screen time. Okay. 

Allison: My daughter would argue as she sits next to me on her phone playing a video game.

I’m social cuz we’re together. That’s, that’s her argument with me. And as long as she’s continuing to talk to me, I kind of let it go. . Yeah. , 

Megan: she has phrase all adjusted our expectations for all aspects of life this year. Absolutely. She 

Allison: had a, a term, you might, I’m sure you probably know it and I’m probably gonna get it wrong mirroring, Oh gosh.

Compatibility or something about just being next to somebody. in the same room. It doesn’t matter if you’re interacting or not, it has a calming effect 

Megan: on them. Mm-hmm. for and for a lot of young people, that is a huge interaction. Mm-hmm. to be sitting next to their [00:16:00] parent on a couch, even if they’re scrolling on their phone and, and their parent is watching a TV show.

There is still a, a sense of community. It’s not as good as having a conversation or sharing an experience together or an interactive experience together, but it is still better than. You know, the, the withdrawn completely, the isolated, physically, at least a physical closeness is one aspect of closeness.


Allison: they’re 17, you take what you can get sometimes

Sandy: saying about resources. Would it be possible to get a list of resources of those apps that you would recommend for parents so we can give 

Megan: them. Absolutely. Yeah, there’s some great apps. There’s also some really great you know, crisis lines. You know, in, in the, in the olden days of, you know, when we were young mm-hmm.

where typically a phone line that you could call, but now they are, there’s some crisis lines that are [00:17:00] text based, they’re chat based and, or they have internet resources that are really good. So yes, I could definitely give you, That would be great. On our Instagram page as well, I. Advocate for people to just put in their phone as a contact is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

It’s a great resource. It’s 1 802 7 3 8 2 5 5. And I’ll send that to you also, but I always tell people, you know, 90% of the time people have their phone near them, and if you’re working with a young person or someone you know, is, is. In crisis, it’s just good to have it as a contact. And they can text that number, they can call that number.

So that’s, that’s one that I always advocate for everyone because it is such a a good resource. You can text to it as well. Yes, yes. Because I mean, for young people. Making a phone call and talking to a human being that’s so out of their realm. So you know, the world’s adapting to their, their method of technology and, and they get a [00:18:00] live person that’s texting back with them.

And then, you know, that person usually can try to get them into a live conversation, but if not, they’ll, they’ll, they’ll continue the, the crisis counseling through text. 


Allison: that’s amazing. That is an incredible. Is it a good idea to talk about suicide with a young person, or does that increase the likelihood of a suicide?

Megan: I think honestly that is the biggest myth and that the scariest for adults. You know, I work with parents and families all the time that say, Well, I don’t wanna ask them if they’re thinking about suicide cause I don’t wanna put the idea in their head. If I bring up the idea of suicide, then, then I’m, that’ll make them wanna do it.

And the reality is that’s just a hundred percent not true that all research shows that talking about it lowers the risk. A suicide attempt will happen, opens up the avenue for discussion, and it, it, it reduces the young person’s likelihood. So it’s sort of like anything. I think there’s a myth that if we, if, you know, if you talk about [00:19:00] sex, your kids are gonna have sex, or if you talk about drinking, your kids are gonna drink.

When the, the honest reality is the more you talk about those things and the less likely they are to do it and. Opening up and saying, Hey, you know, I’ve noticed that you, you’re with it’s, you seem to be withdrawing more and don’t seem to be getting enjoyment out of things and haven’t connected with friends.

And I’m, you know, I’m concerned about you. Is there something going on? And you know, are you, are you thinking about suicide? Asking that question openly is actually a great way to reduce the risk that a young person will take their life letting them know that it’s okay to talk about suicidal thoughts.

Mm-hmm. , I mean, suicidal thoughts are incredibly common. It’s not a, it’s not a rarity that someone thinks about suicide. Just in our 2019 statistics, there was a reported documented 12 million Americans reported seriously considering suicide. And that’s those that are documented. And of those 1.4 million [00:20:00] actually attempted suicide.

So a vast number of people, it’s, it’s, it’s okay to say a lot of people think about suicide. Acting on it is what we wanna prevent. Mm-hmm. . And and also remembering that suicide isn’t the problem. Suicide is what a young person perceives as the only solution to their problem. Mm-hmm. . So the idea is to give them, Hope and offer other solutions and avenues out of the pain they’re feeling, or the fear, the anger, the hostility, whatever it is that that’s that is churning within them.

The saying, thinking about suicide is common. Acting on it isn’t the way that we sh to go, you know? Right. 

Allison: Life is hard and mm-hmm. , especially this past year and a half, has been. So hard, and I’m, I’m old and it was probably the hardest year I’ve lived through mm-hmm. . Yeah. For so many reasons, I’m a very social creature.

And it was, it was difficult for me, but I have the [00:21:00] life experience to know that there’s, you know, it’s not going to stay this way forever. Mm-hmm. , but, you know, for these, for these youth, it, they don’t have. Wisdom. They’re so immediate, they’re so in the moment. And egocentric, you know, that’s a word that I’ve used to describe my daughter quite often as a 17 year old.

Very egocentric. Yeah. They can’t see past what they’re dealing with. And that’s, So you saying suicide is not the problem? I’ve never thought of it that way. It’s, it’s to them the solution, which is terrifying in and of itself. But talking about it, I, I. That, that’s such a huge myth to me that you shouldn’t talk about it, but you’re saying, you know, absolutely not.

It actually lowers the anxiety of the student opening up that dialogue, which I, I, if anybody is listening out there and gets that bit of advice, that’s just. So timely for me, that’s just such a good, no bit of advice there opening 

Sandy: to hear those words, Megan, because it, it does, it, it’s [00:22:00] so scary. It’s just something that’s just so, just, it’s monumental and, and to be able to open that conversation if it can make a difference.

And to the young people around us, it would just mm-hmm. that is so helpful 

Megan: to hear. Yeah. And, and too, when I work with people and, and try to work with educators and training educators or families one of the things I say is it’s, it’s. Scary. It’s terrifying. It’s not an easy question to ask a young person.

You know, are you thinking about suicide? Especially because usually the young person you’re asking is someone you care about, you know? Mm-hmm. . Um, But it’s okay to say, I, I feel nervous about asking you this because I care about you, but I can handle it and I know what to do. It’s important that we don’t transfer our nervousness in asking the question to a young person so that they.

I can’t tell them the truth or I can’t let them know cuz they can’t handle it or they’re too scared or they’re, you know so it’s asking the question is important, but I [00:23:00] mean, we are all real human beings and this is a terrifying question to ask. Mm-hmm. . So I think sometimes people hesitate to ask cuz they just feel nervous or I’m gonna do it wrong or Right.

And the reality is, if you’re just open and. There isn’t really a wrong way unless you’re putting judgment in it. One thing you never wanna do is, is say like, you’re not thinking about suicide, are you? Cuz the only thing, the only answer a young person can give you to that question is no. You’re leaving them to saying no.

And what you wanna do, I always say, picture this young person is in a hole. They’re, they’re in a deep hole. And what you wanna be doing is extending a ladder down into the hole instead of throwing dirt on their head. And so any kind of judgment or negativity or fear angst that you’re piling on, just piles on the dirt.

And what you wanna do is offer them a ladder that says like, Hey, I know the steps we can take to get help, or I’m gonna figure out with you the steps we can take to get help. There’s so many avenues we can, we can go to get you help, let’s help get you out of this, this hole [00:24:00] you’re in. You know? So just, 

Allison: but it is such a powerful visual.

I know that that really made a big difference to me too, 

Sandy: just to think of it in that respect. 

Megan: Yeah. I think sometimes people, you, Yeah, go ahead. I’m sorry. Oh, I’m sorry. 

Allison: You, you made a comment early on about you. You’re afraid to talk to your kids about sex or about drinking or about drugs because you’re afraid they’re going to do it.

However, in the classes, in the public school system, there is sex education. There is dare and alcohol, you know, drug and alcohol education is their suicide education or suicide prevention education. That 

Megan: is such, such a great question and, and you pretty much just slipped my soapbox right under my feet.

Cause I, I do trainings all the time with educators, with families, with administrators and what, what I need to be doing is doing trainings all the time with young people. Especially when you consider that young people, the warning signs they’re giving are given. Are mostly seen by their friends.

[00:25:00] So there is a push to do more of this. I know that in some, like in our school district health is still a graduation requirement, which it isn’t in a lot of school districts, but in our school district it is. And so mental health is a component of that. And suicide prevention is a component of, so that’s fabulous.

I think the push in school districts right now, Is more on seeing the, the, the young person as a whole individual. And social, I mean, especially as we come out of this, I mean, everyone is worried about the academic deficits young people will have from this wacky year that we have had. Absolutely. But it’s not just academic deficits.

They’re gonna have social emotional deficits. You know, you, you have kids who, it was difficult for them to engage prior to this, and now they’ve been isolated. For so long it’s gonna be even more difficult. So I do think that there is a push towards social emotional learning in schools and some, you know, [00:26:00] suicide prevention, mental health.

I think all of that is, is is seeping into it, but not enough. Not enough. I do know that like two years ago prior to covid, our school, Post put on the back of every ID card of every seventh through 12th grader, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number on the back of every school ID card. Because they wanted students to have that access immediately and they wanted it.

Mm-hmm. part of it too is destigmatizing the conversation. So many of the barriers to young people getting assistance is the stigma. You know, if you’re a young person that has cancer, you’re not gonna say just tough it. You know, you can deal with it on your own. You, you can get through it. You know, we don’t need to tell anyone about this.

We don’t need to let people know this is happening mm-hmm. . But if your young person has an anxiety disorder or a severe depressive disorder, there’s still that whole feeling like, well, we can just get through it on our own, or we don’t need to tell anybody about this. Or so I think part of. The, our school [00:27:00] district’s push to have that on.

There was a safety net for young people and also just to kind of open up that conversation and destigmatize. So that’s a huge thing that, and in fact, you know, the statistics for the last 20 years, they’ve been incrementally increasing in the number of young people who’ve died by suicide in 2019. For the first time in decades, the number went down.

The 2018 number of young people who died by suicide is low, is higher than the 2019 number. So pre covid, I feel like we are really kind of at a turning point where this is becoming something that young people can. Talk about and, and know that there are avenues for help and adults and parents and educators are getting more confident in discussing it and finding help.

School districts are, are, you know, hiring social workers and mental health therapists and those kinds of roles. But then the world shut down and we, you know, we took a hard right turn and I’m not sure how it’s gonna end up coming out of it. So, That you have [00:28:00] to say. That’s 

Sandy: really encouraging. Sorry.

It’s encouraging to hear those steps and, and to know that such a school district is, is making those forward movements and providing that access to that phone number to these students. I just, like you said, it just takes that stigma away. That’s That’s fantastic. . 

Allison: I’ve also noticed a big push in Hollywood.

I think this is actually one thing that Hollywood gets right. , they do a lot wrong in my book, but in this, in this term they are really promoting mental health and de-stigmatizing it. I, I’m just trying to think who, I saw somebody when I was doing my 30 minutes of scrolling today. It, it. I think it was Sean Mendez and he was wearing a baseball hat.

And on the baseball hat itself it said something about mental health awareness and it was just he wasn. Doing anything about it that moment. He was posting a picture at the beach. He has happened to be wearing that hat, and so they’re, it seems like they’re normalizing it. John Kazinski Good, Mr.

Good news over the pandemic. Yes. He just posted something recently about his mental health and how, [00:29:00] you know, it’s, it’s okay. They’re, they’re trying to talk about it and, and these are big stars on TV and then movies and I, I think that’s, they’re getting it right. You know, they’re, they’re, they’re talking about it.

Prince Harry. And Oprah. 

Sandy: Oh, yes. And all of that. I mean, all of these conversations and it’s hitting like technology in this case is great. , you know, being able to get the word out and trying to get access to, to just more information and resources. Megan, you’ve been so, so helpful. I feel so much. Better hearing that hopeful.

Allison: I Exactly. Shawn Mendes’ hat says, Thank you for asking about my mental health. It’s just a baseball cap and it just, Yeah, it’s awesome. It’s, 

Megan: but you’re right. The more young, you know, desirable the, the people that are young people are looking up to, the more that they embrace that, the easier it is for our young people to embrace and you know, access the help.

Mm-hmm. . So I [00:30:00] think that that’s, like you said, That’s a fabulous example. And, and the, the bottom line is the antidote to suicide is hope. And so anytime you’re building hope and, and building a way for young people to reach, reach on is, is the way to prevent suicide. Right. It just 

Allison: talking about it, that’s the biggest thing.

And I was nervous about this podcast today because I’ve always been afraid of the hard subjects. When my parents growing up, when my parents would start talking politics and start disagreeing or arguing, I would leave the room when my sister and her husband would argue about religion. I leave the room when, you know, when the.

Wanna talk about, you know, sex or anything I leave the room, that sort of thing. I, I’ve never been very comfortable with the, the hard conversations until I was teaching, actually, when I was teaching elementary school, and they made me teach the sex ed. And I remember having to just stand in [00:31:00] front of the kids and talk about all of those things.

And it was, it, it, I grew up very, very, very fast. and now as a parent, we’re able to talk, you know, openly about some of those things, but suicide was one that just, I was of that mindset. If I talk about it, it’s going to happen. And so I really. Truly appreciate your expertise on this matter and, and your, just your openness to talk about it with us and spend this past hour.

I really think Megan is going to be one of our repeat podcasters because she has so much. I hope so. Yeah. She has so much to share with us and mental health being what it is, especially. I mean, it’s a big deal anyway, but just in the past year and a half as we come out of this quarantine and what is that gonna look like?

I think, I think your job is going to be incredibly important, but I think it should hopefully expand more in the education role where you teach more and more people, because I think what you have to offer is invaluable, and I think their lives depend on it Literal. [00:32:00] 

Megan: Well, thank you so much. It has been such a pleasure talking with you and I’d love to be back.


Sandy: it’s wonderful. Thank you so much. Like Allison said, you just provided such hope and thank you for the resources and the tools. Yes. Because it allows all of us to, to just be out there and, and be more aware and not afraid. Cuz it too was nervous about talking about this topic. Mm-hmm. . 

Allison: Mm-hmm . Well thank you so much Megan and our listeners out there.

Megan is not on social media, so if you have any questions directly for her, you can email her through our email. Learning reimagined the pod at Gmail or directly through Instagram. You can send us a direct message. We get to those pretty quickly and we’ll make sure Megan gets we get in touch with Megan.

So thank you very much for joining us today. I hope you learn something from our expert and we will see you on the next one. Thank you.