Episode 38: Sexual Assault, Mental Health, Suicide and LOVE
September is Suicide Awareness Month. The topics contained in my show notes and this episode are difficult to hear and process. Please have support with you or readily available if suicide, sexual assault, or depression are a trigger for you. In Episode 38, “Sexual Assault, Mental Health, Suicide and LOVE”, Jan is who I have always known her to be, HONEST. She shares the details of how her beloved Lane lived through a sexual assault and found herself in depression that didn’t present as expected.
Sexual Assault, Mental Health, Suicide and LOVE
mindy’s show notes
Episode 038 – Mindy and Jan Marrs
Title – Sexual Assault, Mental Illness, Suicide and LOVE
September is Suicide Awareness Month. The topics contained in my show notes and this episode are difficult to hear and process. Please have support with you or readily available if suicide, sexual assault, or depression are a trigger for you.
Death is a difficult topic to discuss. When a death occurs due to suicide, our society is quick to shush up and sweep the conversation under the proverbial carpet.
After my father, William L Corporon MD, and my oldest son, Reat Griffin Underwood were murdered in April 2014, I found myself talking about death, daily. While uncomfortable for many I learned how to carry on the conversation, especially after mentioning the tragic murders that took their lives and that of Teresa LaManno.
Then a strange phenomenon began to occur. Families who lost their loved ones to suicide began to find me. Introductions were made and I found myself in conversation with moms and dads who had also lost their precious children. In Episode 30, “Saving Our Children from Suicide” Kevin and Annie Timmons share their story of losing Nick Timmons after battling depression.
On more than a few occasions these parents would tell me through the pain in their souls and tear-filled eyes that somehow my situation was different from theirs. Their intention was clear…I lost my son to murder and they lost their child to suicide.
It is true, the cause of death was different. It is true, our children are no longer with us.
However, considering how I would respond with grace and love and in a respectful manner was most important to me.
After processing how we each lost our children, the reality is our child is dead and we are now lost without them and in need of repairing ourselves.
This bears repeating and often – the pain of a parent can create a passion stronger than a tsunami.
Meet my friend, Jan Marrs.
In Episode 38, “Sexual Assault, Mental Health, Suicide and LOVE”, Jan is who I have always known her to be, HONEST. She shares the details of how her beloved Lane lived through a sexual assault and found herself in depression that didn’t present as expected.
An intelligent, cheerful, and active young woman in school, Lane didn’t shy away from these attributes, she pushed into them, with force. When her friends and family noticed a change in her psychosis above and beyond her triple-booked activity and academic schedule, professional care was obtained.
Jan and Jeff Marrs took all the right steps. Lane was under professional care in Kansas and then in Fayetteville, Arkansas as she entered her freshman year of college. None of them realized, including Lane, how fragile she was when the stress of academics and social life are mixed with taking prescription medications improperly.
Lane took her life on September 16, 2016, the darkest day in the lives of the Marrs family. The quick spiral into her dark depression was uncovered by her parents after interviewing her friends and following Lane’s actions over a period of only a few days.
The incredible support from friends appeared immediately, showering Jan and her family with love and kindness. It takes courageous kindness to show up for a family who lost their child to suicide. While we might not know what to say and we don’t want to add to what is likely a layer of shame and doubt in their minds, we are still needed for hand-holding and hugging or toilet paper.
You will be inspired to hear Jan speak of how she gathered her strength from the love Lane left her and joined a foundation to help other parents in her same situation, parenting a child with a mental illness. Founded by the Arkin and Doss families in 2015, The Speak Up Foundation aims to help teens and their families feel safe to talk about mental health and signs of suicide. Funds raised during their annual walk in September assist with providing Sources of Strength to all levels of schools.
Jan offers us crucial advice about speaking with our children and their friends, having a full wheel of support around our children, and asking great questions to stay in the know with our teenagers.
This is not an episode to enjoy. This is a conversation created with love and offered to you as a resource for your personal wheel of support.
To fill Jan’s heart, we request you sign up for the annual Speak UP walk to be held on September 19, 2021. You can walk in person or virtually to reduce the stigma surrounding all mental illness and suicide conversations.
Find your Courageous Kindness today!
resources for this episode
NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness
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