Mental Health Experts to make an honest conversation about suicide in Soka University - Orange County Program

The trajectory of life Alison Malmon changed on March 24, 2000 – the day her brother, Brian, took his life at age 22.

Malmon managed to learn how much his brother with mental illness during her four years in college had difficulty, facilitating open conversations about mental illness and suicide on high school campuses and t College. In 2003, it launched non-profit Active Minds, its Washington D.C., which has 500 student-led chapters in each of the 50 states, primarily on college campuses.

“We have been able to create a culture and climate in school where it is okay to talk about mental illness and it's ok to get in touch with resources,” she said.

Malmon will bring the conversation with Soka University in Aliso Viejo on Tuesday, 16 April, during a program entitled “Suicide: Conversation,” with Kay Redfield Jamison, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School.

Jamison will give a different perspective. She has been a clinician and has been struggling with bipolar disorder since she was 17, and “almost die” from suicide attempts.

His specialty is studying and dealing with mood disorders. And you can't do that, Jamison said, “don't be interested and involved in suicidal patients.” T

This conversation is about suicide and mental illness when suicide clusters appear in Southern California, particularly among schoolchildren. In August, three Rancho Cucamonga and primary school students died of suicide.

Later, on March 5, a 13-year-old boy died of suicide on campus which was shared by Don Juan Avila primary and secondary schools in Aliso Viejo, a few miles from Soka University.

This conversation about suicide was planned during the summer, shortly after the high profile suicide of famous chef Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade, said Soka's special project director, Mary Patrick Kavanaugh.

“It's important to have the conversation because there is great resistance to getting it,” she said. “We need to go at the heart of the question. It's important to talk about the story to normalize the conversation, because it's not going anywhere. We need not only to talk about it, but to be a community as a community. And that's what we're trying to do. ”

The good news, said Malmon, says that there is a stigma in studies when it comes to seeking help for young people on mental health issues.

She says mental health should be treated as a public health issue.

“There should be trainers and teachers on campus and resident advisors or anyone who interacts with students should be trained,” she said. “In many cases, the first respondents are students. They should be taught about resilience, seek help and coping mechanisms for long before it comes to crisis. ”

Discussions about mental health and education are the first critical steps, Jamison said.

“It is important for parents to familiarize themselves with depression, get it and run in families,” she said. “Depression is a major risk factor for suicide.” T

One of the biggest misconceptions is that suicide is rare and cannot be prevented, says Jamison.

“If you deal with the underlying diseases, it can be prevented,” she said. “People say that if they talk about suicide, the person could commit suicide. That's not true. ”

If you go

What: Critical Conversations: Suicide, Conversation

Where: Soka Performing Arts Center, 1 University Circle, Aliso Viejo

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, 16 April

Tickets: The general admission is $ 18.

Info: Organized school groups, community organizations, or people who are unable to pay the admission price by emailing

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