The month of September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. I am grateful for the continued public awareness and open discussions about this very serious topic. In a recent Impact Survey led by the TAA, an alarming 51% of adults and 32% of parents of children with TS reported to have considered suicide or participated in self-harming behaviors. In light of this, there are a number of helpful organizations (AFSP, NIMH, NAMI) and resources to support you and your loved ones, including Chapters and Support Groups across the country. Please know that if you need help, there is always someone to call. A Support Group Leader from the TAA Florida Chapter shared a personal story about how suicidal thoughts impacted her family that really hit home for me.
“Of all the words in the English language, none come close to describing the feeling that took root in my heart the day I heard words about suicide fall from my child’s lips. Here he was, only 7-years-old and already exhausted by his existence, overwhelmed by a body beyond his control and destroyed by the certainty that he was less than. Bad. Stupid. Here was my son telling me in the clearest words possible that he felt he had no value, that having Tourette Syndrome meant his future would never be equal to his peers. He was giving up.
It was with the support from the Tourette Association of America and the amazing web of volunteers who helped us survive from one day to the next. My son was one of the fortunate ones— eventually he was able to find his way from despair to joy. The young man he has become is full of strength and resiliency; an incredible self-advocate, a successful student and a very happy (almost) adult.” – Tanya
The beginning of the school year can be very stressful for parents, children, and young adults back at college. The TAA is proud to offer resources to help during this time, as we know change can present challenges for many.
This time of year always brings a rise in communications from the TAA, so I want to outline what you can expect within the coming weeks and months ahead.
• Summer Newsletter
• Research Update: The Importance of Funding Research
• Ballot – Vote on the TAA Board of Directors and attend the Annual Meeting
• Gala Invitation and Communications
• National Conference Information
As always, thank you for your dedication to the TAA and the Tourette Syndrome community. We can’t accomplish our mission without the help of our constituents and we rely on the generosity of people like you to continue the mission. I invite you to become a donor by making a gift today, getting involved locally, or taking the Tourette Pledge to help further Tourette Syndrome awareness and understanding.