Sep 7, 2017
Today is a special
episode of the Live Inspired podcast in light of September being
Suicide Prevention Month 2017.
Dennis Gillan joins us to share his
story on a topic that affects us all: Mental health. He's committed
his life to reducing the number of completed suicides and
removing the stigma around mental health after losing his own two
brothers to suicide.
Today's episode will help us
break down the stigma around mental health and better care for
ourselves, those we love and those who are in the wake of suicide
already. Don’t miss this powerful episode.
- Talk saves
lives. If you're dealing with mental health issues,
diagnosed or not, know that it's okay to talk about it.
- 9 out of 10 people who die from
suicide have a mental illness.
- Dennis was away at college when
his older brother Mark died by suicide. "I came home for the
funeral but didn't even stay a week. As a family we just kept
going as if things were normal. I didn't see a
counselor - I started drinking a lot."
- "When suicide happens, it's like
everyone sitting around the table and a grenade goes off and
someone is not there when the smoke clears and everyone asks: "What
- Every 13 minutes someone
commits suicide, every 14 minutes there are people asking
- 11 years later, Dennis's younger
brother Matt died by suicide.
- People often feel like
they don't know what to say or do after a suicide:
Just show up. It's called the
ministry of presence.
- I was reminded of how good
people are when I was low. Someone anonymously mowed my lawn
and it made such a difference; reminded me someone cared +
took a burden off.
- After my second brother died
from suicide, I gave up alcohol.
- I did it one day at a time
+ with the help of a counselor.
- I have fallen in love with
sobriety. I used to think I'd be missing out. Now, my only regret
is I didn't do it sooner.
- Surround yourself with positive
people. Men need men - I meet with a group every week.
They give me hope/social connection which was important because
when I got depressed I wanted to withdraw.
- How to get ahead of
- Talk about mental
health. 90% of completed suicides are by people with
mental health issues; we need to be as comfortable talking about
mental health as a broken leg.
- 20% seek
treatment. If you're not feeling well mentally, see
somebody. It doesn't take all your problems away, but will stack
them up neater + help you cope.
- It's okay to say 'I'm
- "Be real. Life
isn't all skittles + unicorns. We know this."
Watch the video where Dennis talks about the last night he
- "I hid it for a long time.
When I started talking about my brothers and their
deaths, I was amazed at the deeper relationships I have with people
+ how we relate to this topic."
- "When we share our joy its a
double joy when we share our sorrow its have a sorrow." - Swedish
- After sitting on my
hands for 18 years, my healing accelerated the minute I started
getting real, being open.
- Check out these tips
from National Association of Mental Illness to
Take Charge of your Mental Health +
Support a Loved One’s Mental Health.
- Join the conversation on social
media using #SuicidePrevention and #StigmaFree
DENNIS GILLAN'S LIVE INSPIRED
1. What is the best book
you’ve ever read? Mans
Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl. The Bible which I'm
reading with my men's group.
2. Tomorrow you discover
your wealthy uncle shockingly dies at the age of 103; leaving you
millions. What would you do with it? I want to take
my winnebago and talk about mental health and suicide prevention
for free to anyone who will listen.
3. Your house is on fire,
all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to
run in and grab one item. What would it
be? Photo album of my kids.
4. You are sitting on a
bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to
have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it
be? Matt and Mark, it's what we should be doing if it
weren't for the way things turned out. That is the ultimate dream.
Matt, Mark and me sitting, looking at the ocean.
5. What is the best
advice you’ve ever received? A friend of mine who heard
you speak and said, I just heard John O'Leary speak, you gotta
check him out. He said you were the real deal and you
6. Looking back,
what advice would you give yourself at age 20? I'd tell
myself go home and be with Mark, be a better brother and quit
drinking. I went through some of my life in a blur and I needed to
be focused; if I was focused maybe I could have helped those
7. It’s been said that
all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence.
How do you want yours to read? He really tried to be
a good guy.
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I can’t wait to see you here next Thursday! Today is your day.
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