Super Member
United States
Hi All,

Suicide is one of those things that is still stigmatized here in the US. That being said, the recent deaths of celebrities such as chef Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade has certainly brought light to the real mental health challenge of suicide.

The statistics are staggering (and vary slightly depending on source):

-The annual age-adjusted suicide rate is 13.42 per 100,000 individuals.
-Men die by suicide 3.53x more often than women.
-On average, there are 123 suicides per day.
-White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2016

It may in fact be likely that one of you reading this post has been affected, like I have, by suicide.

On Saturday, June 22nd I'm participating in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention walk. We're walking 16 miles through the night to raise awareness, and secure funds to prevent suicide. If you'd like to donate to the cause, you may do so here:


I hope this post helps someone out there.

If you'd like to share your story, please feel free to do so. My colleague and friend Charles Laux, from Atlanta, GA, is flying up to Boston to walk with me. I'll conclude the post with his story.

Have a wonderful weekend all and thank you for your support.


ps: Mods, please let me know if you'd like me to remove the fundraising link, and people can PM me if they'd like the link

***From Charles Laux***

As many of you know, my mother, Trudy Laux, committed suicide in 1986 when I was just 11 years old. This single tragic life event has made an enormous impact on my life. For nearly 30 years I struggled with so many insecurities, not really knowing how to cope with her death.

I suffered in disguise and only the very closest people to me knew my true pain. Many people didn’t know anything about what had happened as it wasn’t something that was really discussed in the ’80s. There were so many emotions along the way — guilt, sorrow, anger, remorse, and even thoughts of taking my own life. Upon entering college, I masked my pain and suffering by focusing on my career. I maintained a focused drive to become the very best teacher and person I could. Of course, I made both minor and major personal and professional mistakes along the way. I was missing something and didn’t know what it was.

I thought I had control of everything then in 2015 I found myself in the middle of so many things — perhaps life had become a bit more than I could handle. I was in a demanding job as a college professor while serving as a frequent presenter/guest conductor. I was also writing my Ph.D. dissertation on a strict timeline and remained active an involved dad (coaching baseball, etc). There were also major problems within my marriage that became out of my hands. I had done all I could.

In March of 2016, I nearly met my breaking point and had a panic attack that brought paramedics to my home. I somehow made it through! This is an example of how good counseling makes an impact — along with keeping an open, positive, and strong mind. For the rest of 2016, there were many changes, some voluntary and some choices were made for me. First, I made the choice to change jobs back to teaching public school (my true love). This made me happy at work every day. I continued building a tight relationship with my two boys and focused even more on their care. I also decided to nearly eliminate booking the extra gigs that involved travel. Finally, even though I didn’t make the choice, the negativity that was present within the household had dismissed itself.

In 2017, my life and where it was going finally started to come into focus. There were some rough patches, especially going through a divorce, but this is where my best friends stepped in to help. I couldn’t have done it without them!

I am now at peace with my mother’s passing and am on a mission to support those who have been victims of suicide and help others develop suicide awareness. I want to be a positive role model for my boys, my students, and society.

Suicide has not only taken my mother, but I also lost a close friend, Robert James; a colleague and parent of my former students, Carol Jackson; and most recently in 2017, one of my Alpharetta High School Orchestra students.

Our society can do better to help stop suicide. Every life lost to suicide is tragic and impacts the lives of so many people. Please help me raise this money as I will walk from dusk until dawn to pay tribute to my mother, Trudy, my friend Robert, my colleague Carol, and my beloved orchestra student.

Thank you for your support in a cause I believe in. Together we can save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.


Charles Laux


Honors Member
United States
Think of Dead Poet Society book and movie. Believe it portrayed giving up on Hope. When Hope has been defeated death is all that is left.

Back in the sixties shrinks were telling children, "A few more corners and life will change. Don't give up yet." They kept pushing that envelop because some needed more time and corners. If I remember correctly until that generation was into their thirties and maybe forties they kept pushing that Hope. Those shrinks are probably dead now from old age.

Children should be told, if a parent does suicide, that the problem probably existed years before the child was born. Children don't need unnecessary guilt.

Life can throw a lot of unpleasant stuff at us. Sometimes we can't see hope for a while, but we need to believe in it further ahead. The only exception would be the very old people whose physical abilities are by nature disappearing, and those with some serious physical unluck.


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
United States
Los Angeles
When I was in 11th grade the girl who sat next to me in 5th period physical science class committed suicide over Xmas break. She shot herself. I was a new student in the school and she was the first friend I made. She had flaming red hair and wore lots of leather, she kinda looked like she just got off a Harley. So in a school full of bleached blonde cheerleaders she didn't exactly fit in. In fact she so did not fit in that those of us who sat at the table could tell something was bothering her. She was being bullied because she said the other girls were being mean to her. We didn't realize how bad it was until we came back from the break and found out. Her name was Michelle Maloney and she was 17 years old. I never forgot her.


Super Member
United States
It is a tragedy that probably touches most of us, even though we may not know of it, experiencing it only through the ways it shapes others. I am gratified that it is gradually coming more and more into our deepening awareness of others’ challenges. Thanks for sharing this.