I'm Listening is this Sunday -- I talked to a UW expert about suicide and mental illness

Dr. Ursula Whiteside is on the clinical faculty at UW, and I talked to her about how we can better understand suicidal thoughts

September 6, 2018
I'm listening


I generally like to post stuff here about cool new places to eat around the Sound, or fun things to do with the family on the weekend, or the best places to have a drink with a view. 

But once in awhile, there's a serious subject that captures my attention, and -- I hope -- yours, too.

This is one of those weeks where all of us here at The Sound are proud and excited to be bringing you an important show, about an important subject. It's called I'm Listening, and you can hear it this Sunday morning from 7am to 9am on The Sound.

When someone in our own family or circle of friends takes their own life, we feel incredible guilt: Did I miss something? Why didn't he/she say something?  Is their something I could have done to prevent this?

If you don't personally know someone who's taken their own life, you've surely been affected by the shock of a celebrity taking his or her own life. When someone like food guru Anthony Bourdain -- a man who seemed to have pretty much the greatest job in the world -- takes his own life, we ask ourselves, "Why? The guy had it all!" 

That conversation is at the heart of this show we're airing on Sunday. 

Here's some real talk about suicide, and our show:

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in five adults in the U.S., or 43.8 million people experience mental illness in a given year, and one in five youths aged 13– 18 years old experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741. 
When suicidal behaviors are detected early, lives can be saved. No matter who you are, you have a powerful role to play in preventing suicide. We’re at a point in time where so many people, including celebrities and musicians, have opened up about their experience with mental health or their loss to suicide. 
The topics during our ‘I’m Listening’ special on 9/9/18 include what all of us can do to prevent suicide, how to talk to friends and family about mental health and suicide, what to do if you or someone you know is struggling with depression, how to get involved in suicide prevention in your local community & where to go to learn more. 

The special will be led on-air by BJ Shea, on-air personality for KISW in Seattle, and will highlight personal stories from artists and celebrities. Guests will include medical experts Dr. Chris Nowinski, co-founder and executive director of Concussion Legacy Foundation and Dr. Ursula Whiteside, clinical psychologist, CEO of NowMattersNow.org. Listeners will have the opportunity to participate via a live call-in option and interactive website. 

Musicians and celebrities connected to the cause will also join the conversation about mental health. Guests scheduled to join the program include Mike McCready and Stone Gossard, Pearl Jam; Michael Phelps, Olympic swimmer and 23-time gold medal winner; Mike Shinoda, Linkin Park; Alessia Cara, Grammy Award-winning artist; Jared Leto, Academy Award-winning actor and lead singer of Thirty Seconds To Mars; Bebe Rexha; Charlie Puth; Stone Temple Pilots; Brantley Gilbert; Lzzy Hale, Halestorm; Stephan Jenkins, Third Eye Blind; and Conor Mason, Nothing But Thieves, among others. 

I had a quick chat with Dr. Ursula Whiteside, who's on the clinical faculty at the University of Washington, who had a few thoughts about the way we think about mental illness and suicide. (She happened to be in Amsterdam when I called her!)

You're going to hear lots more this Sunday morning, and I hope you'll check out the show. 

Here's the link to more details.