Today I speak with a dad who lost his son to suicide. Michael Hicks knows that dads grieve too but they do not talk about it nearly as much as moms. Michael shares his story, and his feelings, to help break that norm and alleviate the stigma around men and showing their emotions. If we are going to see a real change in how men approach mental health and a correlating decrease in men ending their own lives, we have to have these conversations. We have to have brave vulnerability as Mike shows in telling his story. This is a very powerful episode.
Find Michael (along with Jolee and Sienna) at HicksStrong HERE
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Here is a write-up he shared with me about Macoy that I think should be shared -
US NAVY ABH AN Macoy Austin Daniel Hicks
Aviation Boatswain Mate Airman Macoy Hicks joined the Navy upon graduating from High School in 2017. His first duty assignment after basic training was to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C. to the prestigious Naval Ceremonial Guard. It was a significant honor for Macoy to be selected for training with the Ceremonial Guard whose primary mission is to represent the service in Presidential, Joint Armed Forces, Navy, and other public ceremonies in and around the nation's capital. Among its most solemn duties is to provide honor guards for naval funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.
Thousands of funerals are held every year at Arlington, with between 30 to 40 funerals a day during the week and 6 to 8 on weekends. Military funeral guards are referred to as "missions" to help the guard detach emotionally. But many cannot detach as was the case for Macoy, who was haunted by the repeated sorrow he witnessed. He was later transferred to the USS Nimitz but his PTSD combined with a traumatic brain injury, followed by personality changes, insomnia, depression, and fruitless visits to Navy mental health providers, left him feeling like nobody in the sea service cared about him.
On February 11, 2019, Macoy Hicks died by suicide while in naval custody. He was twenty years old. To honor their son and brother and to ensure that military service personnel and families have greater access to mental health providers the Hicks family created the non-profit HicksStong Inc. The organization provides funding for active-duty military service personnel and veterans who wish to be linked with qualified and confidential therapists. Speaking on behalf of her family, Macoy's sister, Sienna states "I believe he is proud of us... Macoy's suffering will not be in vain; even after the abrupt end of his own, he is saving lives."
My WEBSITE "The Leftover Pieces; Rebuilding You" support central - MY HUB - and that means my different SUPPORT GROUP Options are available. Go DIRECTLY to my SUPPORT page here where you will find ALL of the ways to connect and find support. My first two books (tools I am creating for you!) in the "Facing Life After Suicide" series are available on Amazon
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out:
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