Page 7 - Chehalis Tribal Newsletter - October 2016
P. 7


From page 1

Brave story The sixth annual Suicide Awareness Walk was a huge success. Raffle winner Charlene Krise
happily accepts her gift.
Paula Henry from the RESOURCES known comedian, but that
Squaxin Island Tribe shared originally was not his intention. to share his story.
a personal story about her Learn more at He worked in social services. According to the National
daughter who committed Search for “Suicide Prevention His career in comedy took off
suicide about a year ago. It was Awareness Month.” after writing and singing the Alliance on Mental Illness,
an honest, touching and healing If you’re contemplating suicide, song “John Wayne’s Teeth” in suicide is the third leading cause
experience for those who came call the hotline at 800-273- the movie “Smoke Signals.” of death among young people.
to witness that day. Paula also TALK or go to or At first, he thought it wasn’t Vaughn talked about how teens
shared her personal struggles very flattering, but the song face domestic violence and
with alcohol addiction. Dealing Contact the Tsapowum Chehalis garnered attention and led to an alcohol and drug use, which
with that was a challenge, but Tribal Behavioral Health unexpected platform to discuss can greatly affect how they feel
she persevered. Services at 360-709-1733. important topics. He was about themselves and their
invited to different colleges to future. He brings data with him
Paula’s daughter had Vaughn said the suicide talk and found he was a natural when he discusses these issues
struggled with drugs and spent awareness walk is a wonderful and gifted speaker. Vaughn because sometimes people
many years in rehabilitation way to bring attention to the didn’t know where that path don’t believe the gravity of the
centers to overcome her issue and that walking is a would lead, but he was honored problem.
addiction. After her daughter healthy way to live. Taking to have the opportunity. He
left the rehabilitation center, a walk often is a simple and eventually gave up his job to While in high school, he
she continued to work toward effective method of self-care. pursue a career in comedy. learned Natives were persecuted
getting better. She had thoughts Vaughn has always been a throughout history. He urged
of suicide at a young age. wellness advocate. Wellness can When he was a child, Vaughn parents to encourage their
These thoughts continued into help tackle obesity, diabetes and was raised in poverty. He was children to strive for their
adulthood. Paula’s daughter alcohol and drug addiction. taught that Native children dreams and goals. Vaughn said
did not openly talk about her “Don’t talk, don’t trust and parents should teach kids to
intention and the signs went Vaughn admitted he is a become numb.” He never speak up, not be silent, discover
unrecognized. She proceeded dreamed life would take him in their voice and never give up
even though her family told her this direction, and he is grateful on their dreams. There are no
she was loved dearly. secrets if people talk about
Community members listen as speakers share their stories. things. You matter and people
Paula’s message about suicide care about you!
is that it’s a result of mental
illness. She advised family and Suicide prevention
friends to not blame themselves.
Paula has learned that if National Suicide Prevention
someone says suicide is the only Awareness Month helps
option, let him or her know it promote awareness around the
is not. Always listen to people issues of suicide prevention,
who tell you the world would how you can help and how
be better off without them in it. to talk about suicide without
You must meet this head on. increasing the risk of harm.

“Encourage them to Suicidal thoughts can affect
understand who will be anyone regardless of age,
affected with this sort of action. gender or background. Suicidal
There are others who will be thoughts and suicide occur too
left behind to deal with the frequently, but should not be
problems of suicide,” she said. considered common and can
indicate more serious issues. In
Paula said blame does not many cases, friends and families
help. In some cases, there are no affected by suicide are left in the
signs leading up to a suicide. dark, feeling shame or stigma
that prevents talking openly
Never give up about issues.

The second speaker was
Vaughn Eaglebear. He gave
Paula a hands up for bravely
telling her story. He said it
takes a lot of courage to share
a personal, tragic story about

He thanked the Chehalis
Tribe and said the evergreen
state must have been named
after our beautiful land. Where
he grew up, there weren’t any
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