Welcome to Lighting Up The Sky.
I created this blog because I'm committed to making a difference in the fight for suicide prevention. I am an active writer, speaker, and advocate. I believe ending the stigma around mental health conditions is critical to these efforts. Having conversations and speaking up about suicide are important ways to start. I believe we need more research, better treatment, and a way to make resources and services readily available to anyone who needs them.
Professionally, my background is in non-profit development and administration. I now work as a drug and alcohol counselor and a peer support specialist at chemical dependency treatment centers located in the San Francisco Bay Area. I work with clients who are have been recently incarcerated, have co-occurring mental health disorders, and are dealing with other high risk issues such as homelessness.
I'm a lifelong resident of California and love this state, especially the northern half. I have one grown son, whom I adore. I make a lot of artsy crafty things. I love movies. I love superheroes. Especially Wonder Woman and Superman.
And, I have a personal vested interest in suicide prevention. My mother, El Collie Kress. died by suicide in April of 2002, and my boyfriend, John Macaluso, died by suicide in April of 2017. They were both needed in this world, and their deaths were heartbreaking and tragic. My heart goes out to all fellow survivors of suicide loss, and I hope they find some comfort on this site.
I am also a survivor of two suicide attempts, one in 1987, and one twenty six years later, in 2013. I attribute both attempts to mental illness that was not being well managed. I suffer from PTSD and an eating disorder. I am also an alcoholic and addict in recovery. Far more than I would like, I understand what it's like to have stigmatized conditions.
I believe in healing. I believe in recovery. I believe in reaching out and speaking out. I believe that every story is important and I believe that all of our voices matter.
Thank you for being here. I hope you find the information you are looking for and that you find some support and a lot of hope, too.
You can find my personal story here:
If you are looking for my personal essays on this blog, you can find them by clicking here.
More about Chelise Stroud:
More about Chelise Stroud:
November, 2017 - Chelise was appointed as a Committee Member to the Suicide Prevention subcommittee of the Contra Costa County Mental Health Services Act Consolidated Planning Advisory Workgroup.
January, 2018 - Part of Chelise's story was featured in the article It's Time to Talk Suicide on England's award winning Stop Suicide organization's website.
March, 2018 - Chelise participated in the public The Art and Science of Storytelling in Suicide Prevention webinar, presented by United Suicide Survivors International. USSI is an independent international organization serving people who have experienced suicide loss, attempts, or suicidal thoughts and feelings - as well as their friends and families. They work together to leverage their expertise in order to impact large scale change in suicide prevention and awareness.
May 2018 - Chelise received Youth Mental Health First Aid USA certification, representing an understanding of risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.
June 2018 - Chelise was also trained in early detection of the signs and symptoms of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and addictions. The program offers concrete tools and interventions. Chelise is certified in both Youth Mental Health First Aid (above) and Adult Mental Health First Aid (below).
July 2018 - Because of her regular advocacy and efforts on behalf of suicide prevention, Chelise became a member of the American Association of Suicidology. AAS works to advance the knowledge of suicide as a science. The organization promotes and funds suicide prevention and awareness research and training. it encourages, develops, and disseminates scholarly work in suicidology. AAS fosters the highest possible quality of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention to the public.
August 2018 - Chelise was a speaker at the Reach Out ; Speak Up event, Changing the Conversation Around Suicide, in Sacramento, California.
You can find Chelise Stroud / Lighting Up the Sky on other social media venues as well: