Suicide slices close to the heart for me, and I remember well the story of Shelby Drazan, a Woodside, Calif. 17-year-old who died by suicide last year.
Now, the Drazan family is going public with their efforts to help others suffering from mental illness. A recent article in the Almanac explains their efforts:
The Drazans say they hope talking publicly about what happened to Shelby will ease some of the stigma attached to mental illness.
"A lot of people are struggling," Stacy Drazan says, "a lot of people especially in this area. We've got to help get rid of the stigma so that people can seek help, and earlier."
Her daughter Mackenzie has created an online trove of resources, Teaching Everyone About Mental Health or TEAM. "Hopefully we can lower the learning curve for everybody else," Mackenzie said.
At the same time, Stacy Drazan is working to expand the number of adolescent beds for psychiatric patients in the San Francisco Bay area. Stanford's Steven Adelsheim, MD, a child psychiatrist, is among those working with the family to expand local mental-health resources.
Previously: Advice and guidance on teen suicide, "Every life is touched by suicide:" Stanford psychiatrist on the importance of prevention and Stanford's Keith Humphreys on Golden Gate Bridge suicide prevention: Get the nets
Photo courtesy of TEAM