[Own Your Life] September? Plan now …

Dear Difference Maker,

I’m writing you today to share a true story about how a very simple and heartfelt Acknowledgment Ceremony caused the actions of one teacher to dramatically altered the life a business man and his 14-year old son.

This short movie has been viewed millions times. I have watched this movie well over 50 times and every time I do, I still get hit in the gut with sense of urgency when I see the gun in the father’s hands, to reach more and more people. If you have already seen it, I invite you to watch it again and then reach out to whoever comes to mind who could use a word of encouragement from you.

We welcome you to use this movie and Acknowledgment Ceremony in whatever ways will be of greatest service to your community. It is our hope that this movie positively impact as many lives as possible – please turn on your speakers and “take 5” to watch:

So what do you do with this?

It is important to know that: No single therapeutic approach is suitable for all people considering suicide or suicidal tendencies. The most common ways to treat underlying illnesses associated with suicide are with medication, talk therapy or a combination of the two.

PREVENTION is about bringing transformational programs into our schools, places of work and churches that effectively build skills and much needed understanding to create a sense of community and belonging. KNOWING that we are here to Make A Difference is essential!

As you may remember, September is National Suicide Prevention Month so plan ahead now.  Be an Agent for Change with this field-tested, step-by-step program that’s already been designed to be flexible to your needs. 


Thank you for the difference you are making.

Reaching out …
0000 mary-3

September is National Suicide Prevention Month: A Time to Focus On Family, Friends & The Cultural Diversity Of Our Community
Written by Janice S. Ellis Ph.D.

Mental well-being is a matter of degree.

Mental health professionals will readily tell you that most of us at some point in our lives will experience some level of depression. And, few of us can totally escape stress and anxiety.

But one thing is certain: A sense of connectedness is vital to our overall well being.

Where we fit, how we fit, our relationship with our parents, spouse, sibling, cousin, neighbor, community, and city are very important variables in the equation of mental wellness at any given time.


How do we assess our place, our sense of belonging, in the world we live in daily? The answer plays a crucial role in our physical and mental health – the quality of our lives, and in many cases the longevity of our lives.

I recently revisited a book by Dr. Edward Hallowel entitled Connect. Dr. Hallowel makes a convincing case of how our relationships with others and the communities in which we live make all the difference.

Studies have repeatedly shown that a child does better in school when he or she has a strong feeling of being connected not only to his family and the home environment but also when he or she feels a sense of belonging, relating to his or her teacher and fellow classmates.

Studies have also shown that, often, married people live longer healthier lives – physically and mentally – than single people who live alone. The elderly are better off living in a communal setting or having pets rather than living alone in isolation.

Along with staying connected with family and friends, it is also important to know our neighbors and allow our neighbors to get to know us. It is equally important that we become “connected” with our community by getting involved in those issues that impact it even if those issues revolve around race, ethnicity or cultural diversity. While many neighborhoods have organized associations and block clubs, many more do not. Many exist in name and dues only. Many come together only when there is an issue or an occasion.

The need to be connected and stay connected with people and causes that are important to us will become even more important as we continue to integrate the ever-emerging advances in telecommunications to “reach out and touch.”

With the options to do all of our shopping and visiting (video telephones) electronically, even worship, staying connected in a personal way will become ever more challenging.

But it is real important that we not allow the convenience of technology to broaden the gap in maintaining and nurturing the warm and caring qualities that is so needed for our physical, spiritual and emotional well-being.

We would do well to remember that staying connected is also good for society. We have only to think of the many signs of disconnectedness – homelessness, gangs, family violence, random violence, suicides – that we read about or see on the news all too often.

No technological convenience can ever replace a hug, a pat on the shoulder, a smile, sharing a meal, engaging in a vigorous debate about something for which you care deeply, taking time for a lost or confused soul.

Perhaps one of the best ways to make technology work for us is to use the time saved to spend more time getting to know people who are important to us – our family members, our neighbors, our friends.

Virtual connectedness is not the same as the real thing.

– See more at: https://www.usaonrace.com/publishers-note/727/september-is-national-suicide-prevention-month-a-time-to-focus-on-family-friends#sthash.tPuC7rQu.dpuf

Reserve suicides up 23 percent — active-duty count remains steady
Military Times 5:22 p.m. EDT April 4, 2016 Patricia Kime

The number of active-duty personnel who died by suicide in 2015 declined slightly from 2014, but the reserve component, including the National Guard, saw a 23 percent increase, according to Pentagon data released Friday.

The Defense Department’s fourth-quarter suicide report for 2015 said 266 active-duty service members committed suicide in 2015,  down from 273 in 2014.

The number of Reserve component members who died by suicide — including those from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps reserves as well as Air and Army National Guard troops — rose to 209 from a four-year low of 170 in 2014.

Figures for the active component have remained relatively steady since peaking at 321 in 2012, but they are nearly double the number before the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

In-depth analyses of military suicides and attempts in a calendar year are issued annually by the Defense Department.  The 2014 Department of Defense Suicide Event Report, which examined the rate of suicide in the services, demographic trends including age, gender, rank and marital status, as well as known or suspected causes of suicide behavior, was released in January 2016.

mdpa suicide prevention

So what do you do with this?

It is also important to know that: No single therapeutic approach is suitable for all people considering suicide or suicidal tendencies. The most common ways to treat underlying illnesses associated with suicide are with medication, talk therapy or a combination of the two.

PREVENTION is about bringing transformational programs into our schools, places of work and churches that effectively build skills and much needed understanding to create a sense of community and belonging. KNOWING that we are here to Make A Difference is essential!


PLAN NOW to get this “Make A Positive Difference” Program on your In-service agenda for the very first part of this new year and you WILL see a synergizing effect over the entire school.

People who learn to acknowledge others will feel good about themselves. When we teach our students, faculty and staff “how” to safely and effectively become more authentic through learning how to genuinely acknowledge others during a week, month and/or year long experiment in human kindness… they WILL do outstanding when it comes to being able to relax and “think” when learning together and doing so, productively.

Why? Because in an emotionally calm state of mind, the LIGHT IS ON and somebody is in there able to do their work… with purposeful intent!

If you haven’t already watched my newest Video Training Series for Education, I hope you will grab a cup of jo and come join me in discovering just how DO-able this program is for your place of work.

Click Here and watch the Education Video and then click the UTRAIN™ Program for Business graphic below the video.

Thank you for the difference you are making…
Mary's Signature
Co-Creator of the Acknowledgment Movie

mary5_140x180Master’s in Educational Psychology Counseling and Development K-12 from the University of Nebraska; demonstrated expertise with every imaginable label awarded childhood behaviors, physical attributes and learning styles. She parlayed her phenomenal success with at-risk youth into Continuing Education Courses for Portland State University on how to be energetically effective educators. For the past two decades, she has taken her exceptional programs to educational professionals, business leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate managers and administrative assistants conducting training and consulting on how to be effective in creating improvement in their organizations through the power of Team Synergy.