Navigating Difficult Conversations with Candor and Finesse

Suicide is not something that discriminates. It does not have any economic, status, or gender boundary. Margaret Stone and Neil Smith join us to talk about a topic impacting so many people. Speaking from the heart and a place of vulnerability, Margaret and Neil share their experience with suicide in their family and how to help people who are going through a difficult time in their lives.

 

In This Episode:

 

  • [01:33] Meet Margaret and Neil as they talk about their experience with suicide in thier family.
  • [13:14] What would they like people to know about suicide.
  • [19:50] Their thoughts on why there is an alarming rate of anxiety and prevalence of suicide amongst younger people.
  • [26:06] How often should you say something to people who you suspect are having a difficult time.
  • [30:00] Surprises around the conversation about suicide.
  • [35:23] What is the right thing to say to someone who has gone through suicide in their family.
  • [39:33] Margaret and Neil’s message to someone who is contemplating suicide.

 

Key Takeaways:

 

  • There will come a time when you must have a difficult conversation with your children. 
  • If you sense something is off with your family member, you’ve got to say something because often what people want is for someone to say, “What’s wrong?”.
  • The most important thing to do to show your support in a difficult time is to call. What you say is only secondary.
  • Asking for help is not a weakness. There is more to life than this difficult moment. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary momentary problem.

 

Meet Margaret Stone:

 

Margaret is an executive coach and client relationship manager at O’Connor Professional Group (OPG). With over 25 years of experience in financial services executive search and performance coaching, Margaret has extensive experience working with executives and high-performance individuals to create transformational change throughout their life and career.

She is also the founder of Veterans Healing Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to providing US military veterans access to and funding for dual-diagnosis addiction and trauma treatment programs. She and her husband Neil Smith are passionate advocates for access to mental health programs and suicide prevention with particular emphasis on teens and young adults and support families who have lost a loved one to suicide.

 

Meet Neil Smith:

 

Neil Smith, one of the most highly regarded executives in the National Hockey League for more than 35 years, is the former President and General Manager of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champions, The New York Rangers Hockey Club. After being selected by the New York Islanders in the amateur draft and playing in the International Hockey League, he joined the Islanders scouting department. Following two Stanley Cup seasons in that capacity, he joined the Detroit Red Wings as Director of Professional Scouting and became Director of Scouting and General Manager/Governor of the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL, where he won Calder Cup Championships in 1986 and 1989.

Neil has also spent 20 years in television and radio as an on-air analyst, host, and play-by-play commentator and has consulted with various NHL teams. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Neil lives in Greenville, SC with his wife and their two Labrador retrievers, AJ and Sammy.

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