Thursday, December 26, 2013

SAY ANYTHING: It Is Time To Start A Conversation About Mental Health

Senator Gordon Smith R–Oregon '97–'09 Grandpar...
Senator Gordon Smith R–Oregon '97–'09 Grandparent was Jesse Udall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It really is OK to talk about "it"...


There are a lot of families gathered together this week to celebrate the Christmas and New Year Holidays. Grandparents, parents, siblings, children of all ages, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends will find themselves enjoying a dinner, watching a sports event, putting together a jigsaw puzzle, learning about the latest "app"...and comparing notes of their lives. But how many of us will talk over, above, under or beyond what is really happening in our life? Will you?

Today we learned about a relatively new website that really just invites people to talk...
"The next time you ask someone how they are doing - don't just settle for "fine." Encourage an honest answer. It could save their life." 
- Gordon Smith, NAB President & CEO

Take time to visit OK2TALK.org


You could be caught off guard when you see their opening photo...SAY ANYTHING. But keep looking, you might find just the motivation you have been looking for. OK2TALK is the brainchild of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the site has only been live since about May 2013 (at least that is when the domain was purchased.) They have a straightforward goal:
"To create a community for teens and young adults struggling with mental health problems and encourage them to talk about what they're experiencing by sharing their personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle or hope."
The OK2TALK website offers a number of ways to get help and even to offer help. They publish the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 toll free number 1-800-273-TALK (8255), there are easy links to various sections of the MentalHealth.gov website: If you need help, you want to learn more or if you want to learn how to help someone else.

Gordon and Sharon Smith understand the importance of talking and listening...


It was September 8, 2003, when Gordon and Sharon's then 21 year old son, Garrett, committed suicide. Garrett had suffered from depression and alcoholism, but they didn't see the signs. Garrett's suicide made national news...his father was one of the State of Oregon's US Senators. In 2006 then Senator and Mrs. Smith sat down with CBS News' Tracy Smith to talk about Garrett, depression, alcoholism and all the missed signs.You can watch the interview here.


As we think about the holiday season, might we remember that holidays bring us together for a reason. Don't be afraid to start a conversation...recovery is possible.
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CARF - Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation FacilitiesNATSAP | National Association of Therapeutic Schools and ProgramsNBCCNAADAC