Suicide Prevention/Major depression

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Question
It's my senior year. In less than 6 months I've lost my sisters to CPS and foster homes, I've found out my grandpa has cancer, my grandma had 3 strokes, my dad has less than 3 years left to live, my moms in jail and I'm failing school from stress and falling asleep in my classes.

I'm so tired. I don't sleep hardly ever and if I do I wake up crying and screaming from nightmares. I can barely eat. My adopted dad refuses to let me go to counciling because he said it's a waste of their money and his time and he refuses to " cart" me around. I just don't know what to do. I feel like I've lost everything and everything is falling apart...

Answer
Hi Elizabeth..

Please could you let me know whether you recieved my reply to you. I am keen to send you some material I believe will be of great benefit to you, however would be better able to send as an attachment in an email. Please feel free to email me on my private email :

future-breeze@live.com.au

I have been worried about you, and very much want to help you through the difficult time you're having - if you'll allow me to.

I assure you that anything we discuss will at all times remain confidential. You probably feel as though you don't know who you can trust right now. Perhaps you are feeling that you've been let down by the people you should have been able to count on, and turn to. I think you're incredibly brave Elizabeth, to have taken the step you did in making contact with me. I can only say that it is an honour to have this opportunity to help you get through this. I will do my best to help you turn things around sweetie. If you have changed your mind about talking to me I will understand.. but please would you write back to let me know where things are at for you honey as I am worried!

If you wish, you can text or phone me, or let me know a number and time best for me to call you. You don't need to give me your number if you'd rather not just yet.. but please will you keep a hold of mine. I will ALWAYS accept a collect call from you if you feel an urge to talk - no matter what time of day or night.  We don't know each other yet, but I'm hoping that will change and that I will earn your trust.

My number is (your internationaly calling code, ie 00 or 001 - whatever you call to dial out of USA, and then for Australia it is 61 and my cell number is 452 434 447, so:  (00?) 61 452 434 447

Btw Elizabeth I will delete this message as soon a I know you've read it, on account of it having my private contact details.  

Sending you a warm hug,

xo your friend Rachel

Suicide Prevention

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Rachel Hurst

Expertise

All questions sent to me will receive a warm and caring response. I'll do my utmost to address a persons particular problem, but in most cases will also attempt to supply that individual with additional resources which might be of further benefit. There are many helpful online support groups where readers can benefit from the ongoing support of others who have suffered similar problems. These groups offer invaluable peer support from others who have 'been there'. As well as responding to your initial letter, I'll attempt to provide ongoing encouragement when this is needed. Advice will be focused on addressing the writers individual needs, and providing related information and resources. I would try to ensure that any person seeking advice has accurate and up-to-date information on the signs and symptoms of depression, and importantly, is made aware that help is available through many different avenues. Where I feel that it's relative and helpful I would mention my own life experiences with depression and coping with a loved one's suicide (however, only in context.) I would be on the lookout for warning signs that the person is in crisis and may require immediate intervention. As such I would arm myself with as much information as possible in order to refer them to the help they need. In cases where I believed the persons life to be in imminent danger I would contact authorities in their area, or if unknown, I would call the emergency services in my area in order for the person to be located through tracking.

Experience

I am by no means a trained professional. My knowledge comes mainly through life experience, having endured the devastating loss of my best friend through suicide, as well as my own subsequent battle with depression following his death. I found that my own experience of losing a loved one to suicide put me in a strong position to help others, due to my ability to empathize (as opposed to sympathizing). I became knowledgeable on the topic of grief, and the extensive repertoire of depressive illnesses, signs, symptoms, and treatment options available to people in crisis.

Organizations
S.O.L.O.S. Survivors of Loved Ones Suicide - Active member since 2003.

Publications
'Marie Claire' Australian, 'Cleo' (Australian), Online discussion forums (in which my submissions have stimulated discussion and generated much feedback).

Education/Credentials
I am a professional writer. I was trained in journalism. Please see my profile in Linked In. http://au.linkedin.com/pub/rachel-hurst/41/178/165 I have studied related subjects during training as a registered nurse. Both of my parents are mental health professionals. However most of reading widely and life experience has been my greatest teacher.

Past/Present Clients
I have helped a number of individuals who have sought my take on a particular problem, or whom I have felt concern for, for various reasons.

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