It’s been three years and two weeks since Carol Cashen’s son Adam took his life.
Since then, she’s had difficulty finding resources to help cope with her loss. So Cashen took matters into her own hands.
“As I started healing a little more I realized that if I couldn’t find the resources … then others would have as much of a difficult time if not more,” said Cashen, who works as a health care professional for Capital Health.
Cashen developed Support After Youth Suicide, a booklet that outlines an array of possible resources including giving yourself time to grieve and surrounding yourself with loved ones.
But the most important message of the booklet is being open, said Cashen.
“It’s giving them that permission to talk,” she said.
“It will help to reduce the stigma around it and it’s going to help them heal faster … and realizing that you are not going crazy and some of the emotions that you are feeling are common.”
Cashen created the pamphlet with Dr. Stan Kutcher, the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health. He said research has shown this form of resource is a highly effective.
The booklet has been given to front line workers such as police and medical examiners and is also available online at www.teenmentalhealth.org/family.php.
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