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  • Farah Kurji

Loss and Renewal: Honesty & Growth



Farah M. Kurji

BSW, MSW, RCSW, YTT, EMDR CIT



I would have never believed that my first blog post would be about suicide. I had all these plans – answers to great questions like: What is counseling? How to find a good therapist? What to say when you get to your first session? Does online counseling work? Is it depression? Is it anxiety? And why is counselling so expensive?

And sure, those are great questions I get asked all the time. I will get to that in future posts. I promise.


As a therapist, mother, and member within a community that is mourning a devastating loss, I feel compelled to share what I know and what I have learned.


Mental health has the golden passport. It travels through affluence, education, gender, geography, professions, and yes, even cultures.


Over 20 years ago, I volunteered in our community as a social service volunteer. At the time, the #stigma was around #HIV – it was suggested that our community doesn't get "HIV" – we get "the flu". I could not acquiesce to "saving face" then, and the truth is - I never could.


That said, I am grateful for that opportunity. It awakened my passion for mental health and guided me to follow a professional framework. It still drives me towards evidence-based practices.


More recently, some younger members of my community have come forward with brevity and honesty. To name the tragic loss we have had for what it was – related to mental health. It was "not the flu." My soul is stirred by this vulnerability.


The invitation is to become more vulnerable, too.


So, I'm stepping in.


Because sadly, I know the answer to "who is at greatest risk" – the research shows – those who have already lost someone to suicide are at higher risk[1]. And this gut-wrenching loss simply cannot morph into the #suicide related mental health pandemics I've already seen.


If you're reading this maybe you will re-think, maybe you will reach out, maybe you will find another choice, maybe you'll know you're not alone, maybe you'll push through #stigma.


So I guess I’m coming out of the gates with a topic most therapists don’t write about.

Suicide.

It is the ultimate cost in mental health and what every therapist works to help patients re-contemplate. It is the real reason we do our jobs everyday – providing hope, treatment, options, education. It is why we advocate for resources and spend most of our resources on advancing research and skills.


To give our patients just one reason to step back from the pain. To find hope.

To invite our patients to take our hand and trust us to listen with compassion and discernment. To hear what patients say and what they don’t say. To invite our patients to walk with us – just for a bit. To let us show you the other options to loneliness and pain.


To let us treat trauma and loss.


So now you know why the worst ending feels like the right place to start.

I will be adding upcoming posts to include resources, evidence-based information or answering questions you send me – or you can reach out to me privately for more information.


Thanks for being so brave millennials!


#daretoshare #notsuicide #nottoday

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3384446/#:~:text=Despite%20the%20fact%20that%20the,than%20are%20other%20bereaved%20individuals. Farah M. Kurji is an advanced trained clinician specializing in trauma, loss, anxiety and depression. She includes EMDR & CBT amongst her treatment modalities. Farah also provides clinical consultations and debriefing. You can book with her or her team HERE.

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