Roger Breisch

The Tapestry We Mistakenly Believe is Reality

One of the most profound lessons I have extracted from nearly 20 years answering calls (11,000 or more) on the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is that each of us constructs an image—a tapestry—we truly believe represents reality, but turns out to be ambiguous, misleading, and very often wrong. Despite its extraordinary abilities, our brains are easily …

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Every. Single. Day.

I recently discovered that, 117 years ago, the United States Supreme Court enforced a Cambridge Massachusetts health board’s smallpox vaccination order. The plaintiff—an anti-vaxxer—claimed their ‘individual liberty.’ That liberty, it was said, included, not only the right to afflict themselves, but also the right to cause others to be afflicted. When I learned of this …

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Contagious, Courageous Conversations

“When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” Billy Graham I am scheduled to present my book, Humanity’s Journey Home, to a group of lifelong learners. But I’m frightened. I’m glad I wrote the book…I really am. However, there are days I wish I hadn’t. It’s not a book …

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“Turning Periods into Question Marks”

Turning periods into question marks can be life-saving. Several months ago, I got a call from a dear friend, Tess, as she drove from her home outside of Chicago to a friend’s home in Michigan. She was frightened because this friend was seriously considering suicide and Tess felt unprepared to help. Since she knew of …

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An Unlikely Source of Wisdom

“It’s So Counterintuitive!” she said. “Yes, it is.” I affirmed. The young woman calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline suffered from sporadic, chronic, gastrointestinal pain. She thought she might have eaten something the prior weekend that aggravated the condition. As a result, she was in great pain. I asked if she would be willing to …

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