Make it a Great Day - The Choice is Yours

Teen Suicide

Name the Elephant in the Room... that's why this book was written.

In June of 1995, totally blindsided by her 14-year-old daughter's suicide attempt, Jackie Simmons entered into a world of depression, addiction, medical mysteries, and deadly silences.

The Elephant: since 1995, the number of teen suicides has risen drastically and still we hesitate to talk about it.

We know that when it comes to suicide, silence is deadly. This book contains stories of heartache and stories of triumph.

Each story is designed to help you break the silence. The stories are real, raw, and sometimes come with dog turds...

Inside this book, you'll also find the guide to having "The Talk" to stop teen suicide, based on Jackie's TED talk.

You can learn more ways to stop teen suicide by watching Jackie's TED talk, visiting the Teen Suicide Prevention Society online, and by joining us on The Suicide Prevention Show.

Learn more. Break the silence. Have "The Talk."

Together, we'll save lives.

This amazing book is filled with the stories of 26 authors who share their stories of overcoming despair and depression and finding their way in the world. These authors have the courage to be raw, authentic, and vulnerable. 

The heart and soul behind this book is Jackie Simmons. 

Why this book...

I opened the front door exhausted.

The emergency room had taken hours and it broke my heart when they pulled everything out of the room and basically locked my daughter up to keep her safe from herself as they stopped the bleeding from her arm.

The house was quiet. It was supposed to be empty, the man who had been living off my daughter’s goodwill was supposed to have packed up and gotten out while I had her at the hospital.

Something was wrong, I could feel it.

Slowly opening each door, I saw the blood on the floor. . . still dripping from his butchered arm, the knife still in his other hand.

He was unconscious, still breathing… 911


With the operator in my ear, we removed the knife and waited for the ambulance. My youngest daughter holding my hand as we stared at the man whose presence was so important to her sister that she cut open her arm in an attempt to keep me from evicting him.

There was something odd about his arm… it was swollen from what appeared to be 20 or 30 shallow cuts.

So different from the cut on my daughter’s arm that was clean and deep.

I can still see both in my mind.  


 Fast forward.

Now, I understand that while every suicide attempt is self-injury, not every act of self-injury is an attempt at suicide.

Now, I see his act as a desperate attempt to get back into the system by a man about to become homeless, and I can see his pain.

Watching the police escort him to the ambulance, I saw only betrayal. He had betrayed my daughter’s trust, he had betrayed my desire for a peaceful home, he had lied about leaving, but then, he had lied about a lot of things. People in pain often do. And people in pain often self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

There's no moral to this story, there's only the question of how to help people who are in so much emotional pain that they would harm themselves and betray those who care about them.

It's an attempt to answer that question that pushed a group of us, including my daughters, to write this book. 

Inside these pages, you’ll find our stories. Some are fun, some have dog turds, and all are full of the tips and tricks that we use to choose to make it a great day.

We hope you enjoy the journey with us and share this book with others.

It is with the utmost gratitude that I thank those who were early sponsors and founders of this program. We started with this book and grew into a movement.

We designed this book to be a companion on the road to developing emotional resilience so that everyone will forever be able to choose to make it a great day.

If you know someone who’s struggling, or you are someone who’s struggling, our prescription is the same – don't wait – right now reach out for a hug and then keep reaching out. 

Don’t quit...

We believe heaven doesn't need another angel, we believe that heaven knows, there's someone who needs you here. 

*To learn more about the Teen Suicide Prevention Society and to support the movement to make suicide a thing of the past, visit:

Pick up a copy of this book... and share it with someone you know that really needs to hear this message. 


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