Saturday, June 13, 2009
Book by Catholic family addresses family members' experiences with attempted suicide related to downsizing
After John Gallagher attempted suicide by jumping out of a hospital window, crushing his legs, his wife Patricia lied about his injuries to others saying it was an accident, including two of her children. The topic became like the "elephant in the living room".
It was only years later when her husband John decided to go public to help others after he read about a local teen who survived a nine story jump that the truth came out.
The family wrote a book called No More Secrets: A Family Speaks About Depression, Anxiety and Attempted Suicide," in which "each member of the family -- including Patricia's mother, Claire Mohan -- tells the story from his or her own perspective. The second half of the book offers advice and resources for families confronting similar problems."
John's attempted suicide came after he heard about pending downsizing at his job. Patricia believes the book can help many of those in the economic downturn facing similar problems.
The couple now speaks before various groups, including chapters of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and wants to take their message to parish, workplace and community groups as well.
Contact information for the family can be found here.
Resources: Save: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Study shows relationship between suicide and unemployment
[image description: The book cover is shown. The title No More Secrets is above a photo of the Gallagher family. Beneath that photo are the words A Family Speaks About Depression, Anxiety and Attempted Suicide. Underneath that is an image of a man in suit pants, white shirt and tie and suspenders jumping up joyfully in the air , his arms over his head and a briefcase in his right hand.The author's name John J. Gallagher is at the bottom.]