Guest: Thalia Lang
Thalia tells her story of the murder-suicide attempt of her grandparents when she was a young teenager, the lives of her grandparents had deteriorated in many ways which led her grandfather through a period of desperation. Her grandparents were later separated and hospitalized for what ended up leading into the loss of her grandparents within the span of a year. Thalia spoke about the differences in her experience with the death by suicide with both of her grandparents and with her high school friend. She described the death of her grandparents as a drawn-out path to the end of their lives and her close high school friend was instantaneous, hanging himself in his bedroom ending his own struggle with depression. She speaks about how she coped with these significant losses, sorting out her emotions, her thoughts, the inner turmoil, and external pressures. Thalia mentioned she missed a great deal of school post loss of her school friend and explained that she became emotionally numb to the amount of pain she faced and turned to attending parties and drinking heavily to find her solace. Thalia shared that she would chase anything that could aide her in continuing to feel numb, she has since scaled back and taking to vices are no longer a concern for her. In her reflection of these heart-breaking experiences, she recognizes that the common thread for her losses, is that no one believed the magnitude of their hurt and pain, and how challenging each of their circumstances were. A pivotal moment in Thalia’s story is her interest in suicide research has blossomed from the grief and loss she experienced during her adolescence. Her key message to the listeners is that: when someone is in pain, believe them; don’t minimize the pain of others; don’t compare people in their pain.
Guest Bio: Thalia Lang is a University of British Columbia Master of Arts Counselling Psychology graduate student pursuing a career in suicide research and clinical counselling. She aspires to work in the field of suicide prevention and attempt recovery with children, adolescents, parents, and families.
Her research interests revolve around how to mitigate against barriers for people experiencing suicidality to reach out to their loved ones or professionals for support. She holds additional interests in researching underrepresented groups in suicide research, including first-generation Asian-Canadians and other groups. Outside of work, Thalia enjoys trail running, playing video games, cooking with new recipes, and sharing laughter during warm-hearted conversations over dinner with friends.
Canadian Centre for Men and Families, specifically our Men’s Peer Support Group program https://menandfamilies.org/vancouver-support/
Suicide prevention resources: Centre for Suicide Prevention @ https://www.suicideinfo.ca/