When a loved one is suicidal – how do I help?

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“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5

“Suicide is a permanent soluation to a temporary problem” Phil Donahue

What do we do when someone we love is very depressed and possibly suicidal? How can we know if they will do it? What do we do if we suspect he or she is suicidal, but we have no proof?

Suicidal people may not be honest with you. Suicides are usually well planned. If your loved one has been extremely sad lately, but suddenly brightens up, that could be a sign he or she had decided to end his or her life. Even if the person is telling you “No, I’d never do that,” while that’s great to hear, we need to look at their actions/behavior. Their pattern of behavior may tell you something completely different than their words.

We can’t hesitate when we suspect a loved one may be suicidal. Here are some tips:

  1. Talk: Be direct – ask them how they’re doing. “Hey, I’ve noticed you seem very down lately, and I’m concerned about you. Are you having any thoughts of self-harm?”  For more detailed information regarding risk factors, you can click here: https://afsp.org/about-suicide/risk-factors-and-warning-signs/
  2. Be persistent: People usually give up after a few tries. Keep reaching out to the person. Don’t give up.
  3. Show up: Show up where they live (or work if you must,) don’t wait for an invitation and don’t accept being blown off.
  4. Enlist help: If you cannot physically get to your loved one and you feel concerned about his/her well-being, you can call their local police department for a “safety check” or a “welfare check.” http://thelawdictionary.org/article/what-is-a-police-welfare-check/ The police will go to his/her residence and simply check on him/her. While calling police may sound like a bit much, they do safety checks all the time and are well trained in how to handle them. As police have told me, it’s better to call and learn eveything is okay rather than not call, and something bad happens.
  5. Immediate assistance: If you already know your loved is having thoughts of suicide and you cannot get to him/her you can call the police and ask them to evaluate the person for Involuntary Civil Committment. (It’s known as the “Baker Act” in the state of Florida and also known as “Involuntary Civil Committment” elsewhere. For more information click here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/involuntary_civil_commitment) Let the police know you’re friend is having suicidal thoughts. The Police will locate him/her, evaluate, and transport to the nearest hospital if deemed necessary. The hospital will evaluate and then transport to a Mental Health Treatment facility.

There are many resources available if you would like more detailed information, statistics, hand outs, and/or resources for your loved one. Each of the links listed below contains valuable information, and resources to help.

Resources: 

There is a 24 hour 7 day a week Crisis Hotline  (They will even chat or text!):  800-273-8255   http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

You  Cannot Be Replaced: http://www.youcannotbereplaced.com/

American Association of Suicidology: http://www.suicidology.org/

NAMI http://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Suicide-Prevention-Awareness-Month

SAMHSA http://www.samhsa.gov/prevention-week

LPB Professional Photo

This post may be copied and/or distrubuted as long as the author’s information is left intact.

About the author: Laura Peddie-Bravo is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor with over 15 years experience working with depression and suicidal ideation. Mrs. Peddie-Bravo is the founder and owner of The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC. For more information, questions, or to arrange a complimentary phone call, please call 407-222-6239 M-F. http://www.TheBravoCounselingGroup.com

 

 

 

Bravo Counseling Group, LLC Fall 2016 Office Hours

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While it still feels like summer, it’s time for us to get back into Fall schedules. Due to increased demand for evening appointments, more evening appointment times have been added. If you have any questions, or do not see a time which works well for you, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 407-222-6239. Please note you are welcome to call outside of regular office hours, please leave a message including a few dates and times that work well for a phone call, and someone will get back with you on the next business day.

Mondays:

11:00 am – 9:00 pm (last appointment is 8:00 pm)

Tuesdays:

8:00 am – 2:00 pm (last appointment is 1:00 pm)

Wednesdays:

Office hours (no face to face appointments available) 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Thursdays:

11:00 am to 9:00 pm (last appointment is 8:00 pm)

Fridays:

Office hours (no face to face appointments available) 8:00 am – 12 Noon*

*Please note that volunteerism and continuing education is prized by this office, and many volunteer opportunities and continuing education programs take place on Fridays. While we desire to get back to clients and interested parties as promptly as possible, sometimes that means a message left on Friday may not be returned until Monday morning. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

The Bravo Counseling Group Closed 7/2/18-7/7/18

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The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC will be closed from Monday July 2nd through Sunday, July 7th . The practice will reopen Monday, July 8th at 8:00 am.

Please note The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC is not a provider of crisis services. The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC is an outpatient counseling private practice. If needed, there is a 24 hour 7 days a week service through the Lifeline telephone number and website:1-800-273-8255 http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  , in case of urgency, and 911 in case of a life threatening emergency. Lifeline provides a live person to talk, or chat with via computer,  24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Returning or new client appointments will be scheduled after 7/8/18.

If you have any questions, please call Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC 407-222-6239 before 7/2/18. All communication received on or after 7/2/18  will be returned on Monday 7/8/18. Please know you are welcome to leave a messgae while we are closed, but please also know messages will not be returned until Monday 7/8/18. Thank you! May you enjoy a wonderful 4th of July Holiday!

The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC Is Moving!

FullSizeRenderGreetings! It is with great excitement that I announce that The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC will be moving into a beautiful, newly renovated office space in Winter Park. The new location is only 1.8 miles from the current location.

Because of this move, please know that the Bravo Counseling Group, LLC’s physical location will be closed starting Monday, December 21st, and will re-open on Monday, January 4th, 2016.

Phone/texts, regular mail, and social media will all continue to be checked, although not as frequently usual. IF YOU HAVE AN URGENT REQUEST during this time, please call 407-222-6239 and please make sure your request is stated as “urgent.” Your call will be returned a soon as possible.

Our current address through 12/31/15 is:

2431 Aloma Avenue, Suite 238, Winter Park, FL 32792

Our new address beginning 1/1/16:

7221 Aloma Avenue, Suite 300, Winter Park, FL 32792

Please direct all questions to Mrs. Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC Owner of The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC.

May you enjoy a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

*Please note that The Bravo Counseling Group, LCC is not a provider of crisis counseling services. All emergencies are directed to call 911 for crisis/emergency services. Additionally, please know there is a National Suicide Prevention Hotline which can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year: Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. Here is a link to Lifeline’s website where someone in crisis may also “chat” with a live person: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

 

5 Tips For How To Handle Being Alone During The Holidays

IMG_4891Whether through choice, death, or simply logistics, some find themselves alone during the holidays. While quite a few feel depressed due to this circumstance, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some suggestions to not just survive the holiday season, but to thrive!

1.) Volunteer. There are so many wonderful organizations that are in desperate need of volunteers. Volunteers can volunteer with babies, children, teens, adults or older adults or animals. If someone doesn’t want to volunteer face to face with strangers, there are plenty of behind the scenes ways to volunteer, i.e. administrative tasks. Here is just a short list of organizations to chose from: Hospitals, Assisted Living Facilities, Animal Shelters, Homeless Shelters, Political causes, and so much more. In Orlando, there are literally hundreds of charities that could use more volunteers. Volunteering and giving of ourselves is the best way to feel better. Additionally, new relationships will be created, and suddenly, one might find a social calendar teeming with new friends and activities.

2.) Ask. Most of us (not all, but most) have extended family that we could chose to be with during holidays. If your extended family doesn’t invite you to join them, (because they likely assume you already have plans), why not ask if you can join them? They will most likely say “yes” and perhaps apologize for not thinking to ask themselves.

3.) Remain active. Exercise/movement is especially important during the holiday season. We need sunlight, and getting outside to take a walk, go for a run, or a bike ride can help us feel better.

4.) Faith. Faith is huge. As a Christian, I could fill my entire calendar with my  church’s activities alone.  Some people don’t have a church, and there are various reasons for that. Churches are made up of fallible human beings (to borrow from Dr. Albert Ellis.) If you didn’t have a positive experience at one, you can try a different one. There are seeker friendly churches, churches that go more into depth, and “high” churches. Is your family from another country? There are Greek churches, Romanian churches, etc. What a great way to connect to your heritage and create some new relationships. If you live in a metropolitan area like Orlando, FL, every denomination represented. There are even churches which meet on our beaches! It can be fun to visit every single denomination, learn their differences, and discover where you feel comfortable. Faith – believing in something greater than ourselves – can be incredibly powerful, healing, and fill us with Joy because we believe we are never alone.

5.) Grief. If you find yourself alone due to loss of a loved one, and find yourself grieving, it’s important to talk about it. Holding it in, ignoring it, and hoping it will subside may make those feelings worse. Call your local Hospice and find out what groups they offer for grieving family members. Hospice typically runs many groups for children and adults who are grieving. They also tend to be free of charge.

Of course each of these can be expounded upon and take hours to discuss. These tips are meant to stimulate thought and give some quick ideas as to how to potentially fill up your holiday season, brighten it, and thrive this year.

This article may be reproduced as long as the author’s name and contact information are kept in tact.

LPB Professional PhotoAbout the author: Laura Peddie-Bravo is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (2001) and Nationally Certified Counselor (1999.) Mrs. Peddie-Bravo is the founder and owner of The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC. For more information or to arrange a brief complimentary appointment, please call 407-222-6239. http://www.TheBravoCounselingGroup.com

 

5 Communication Tips For You & Your Teen

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5 Communication Tips For You & Your Teen

Communication – something we do every day but sometimes we don’t do it very well. Here are my top five tips to help parents communicate with their teens:

1.) Is it a good time to talk? You don’t want to bring up a sensitive subject in front of their friends, or perhaps even in front of another sibling. It’s usually better to wait – no matter how badly you want to bring it up – until later when you can talk privately.

2.) Respect. I’m a fan of giving kids & teens respect. I give my children respect because I want to model respect to and for them. Recently, when one child was treating me disrespectfully, I was able to say “Have I ever treated you the way you are treating me right now?” My teen answered “no.” I said “Then please don’t treat me this way.” My teen’s response “Ok. I’m sorry.” And we were done. The attitude was resolved in less than one minute and we got to the real issue.

3.) Listen. Yes, we parents have been there and done that. We have great life experiences and great advice to give our teens. The thing they want most is for us to listen. Listening allows them to get things off their chest, lets them know we care, and you might open the door to things you didn’t know your teen was grappling with. You’re more likely to open that door by listening versus lecturing.

4.) Limit lectures. I can lecture as well as a college professor to my kids in my own home. But, my teens really need to begin to learn and sort things out more and more on their own. Of course, when important, there will be the occasional lecture. We are training soon-to-be adults and they need to take increased control over their thoughts and actions as they learn to become adults and learn from their own successes and failures.

5.) Trust. Allowing our teens increased control over their own lives means trusting them. We’ve been teaching them since they were babies. They have learned more than our words and actions convey. Teen years means parents learning to trust that what they have taught their children is good, enough, and let go. I used to give a talk to parents whose son or daughter were about to begin their Freshman year called “Letting Go.” Letting go actually begins much sooner than the first semester of college. I’m starting to let go now.

Please feel free to share and reproduce this blog post as long as the author’s name and information remains intact.

~LPB Professional PhotoLaura Peddie-Bravo is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida, a Nationally Certified Counselor, and has worked with teens and college age population since 1997. She has been happily married since 1996 and is the parent of three teenagers. She owns a private practice in Winter Park, Florida called The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC. To schedule an appointment or to arrange a complimentary 15 minute phone call, please call the office at 407-222-6239.

The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC Severe Weather Policy

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The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC Severe Weather Policy

The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC and Owner Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC wish to assist all clients in remaining safe during times of severe weather. While the Bravo Counseling Group, LLC does kindly request a 24 hour cancellation notice there are exceptions. One of those exceptions is for severe weather. If you believe you cannot get to the office safely, or if you are worried about possible severe weather either driving to or from the office, the cancellation fee will be waived. Your safety comes first. The appointment will be rescheduled at no cost to you. Additionally, if your therapist cannot safely reach the office, s/he will phone you in order to reschedule.

If you have any questions about this policy, please feel free to call the office at 407-222-6239. Thank you!

Here are some helpful links for storm preparation:

State of Florida Hurricane Preparedness

Florida Disaster Panning

Florida Division of Emergency Management

National Weather Service