May 032012
 
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I don’t know exactly who started it but evidently the Thankful Project started here inUtah. It is a great place to get your daily fix of Positivity. People have posted things I had not even considered. I highly recommend joining the Thankful Project on Facebook. It has given me an outlet to share some gratitude with people who get it and “like” it. Ahhhhhh I’m home.

Frank Clayton LPC

Mar 252012
 
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Article published in KSL by Frank Clayton, LPC

SANPETE COUNTY — As families gathered in the auditorium of North Sanpete High School in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, they began to discuss the recent rash of suicides in Sanpete County in December of 2011. The small gathering of people were able to recall six suicides in just the last three weeks. The consensus was swift and unanimous: “It has to stop.”

In record time, the small band of citizens planned a candlelight vigil to raise awareness of the growing problem in Sanpete County. Sisters volunteered to organize the vigil, a brother created a Facebook page, a therapist started a grief group and an army of one delivered flyers from one end of the county to the other. The press was contacted.

The mission: Break the silence. The message: Talk about suicide. Ask the question, “Are you suicidal?” Get help.

Utah needs a lot of it. Recently, the Center for Disease Control revealed that Utah ranks No. 1 in terms of the number of residents contemplating suicide. The Utah Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Program reported that Utah has the eighth highest rate of suicidefor adults in the nation, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for Utahns ages 15- 19.Therural areas have a significantly higher suicide rates: namely Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Tooele, Carbon, Emery, Weber and Morgan Counties as well as the Glendale, Ben Lomond and Tricounty areas.

The numbers are staggering, but the grief etched into the faces of those people at North Sanpete High School was overwhelming.

Two weeks later, I stood before the Main Library in Mt. Pleasant, adding my candle to the light of nearly 100 residents of Sanpete County. As with all tragedies, they want to know why — why are their loved ones dying? It’s a fair question with an unfair answer: We do not know.

What we do know is that suicide is preventable.

We know what to watch fordepression, drug or alcohol use, moodiness, irritability, giving away prized possessions, anger, isolation, recklessness and language indicating hopelessness, feeling trapped, and considering suicide as an option. We know that a person who takes their life has usually had a crisis within two weeks and is likely struggling with one or more problems with things like physical health, employment, finances, with the law or at school. We also know that there is often easy access to firearms and pills.

We know that help is a phone call away: 1-800- SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) and the Trevor Project hotline for LGBTQ teens at 866-488- 7386.

We also know that when one person takes their life, it can lead others to follow suit. A young woman at the candlelight vigil shared that she attempted suicide two weeks after her cousin died by suicide. She said, “I thought if he could do it, so could I.”

As counselor Monte Hauck said, “People simply don’t know how to handle things, so they try to take care of a problem the only way they could.”

It is true. When one is thinking of taking their own life, they might see it as the only option — the only way to make the pain stop. This is a result of what positive psychologists call a downward spiral. The further down the hole one goes, the fewer options they perceive — even though, objectively, there are many, many, many alternatives to suicide.

Science has revealed a shockingly simple antidote to the downward spiral: counting your blessings. When one is in the clutches of the downward spiral, pessimism is rampant. By identifying a few positives, one can start to realize that life is not so bad and there is hope. The journey of the upward spiral begins.

Research has proven the pull of an upward spiral to be just as powerful as a downward spiral. Using the “three good things” intervention, the father of positive psychology Martin Seligman helped 94 percent of his depressed participants rise from the level of severely depressed to either moderately or mildly depressed in only 15 days. Considering that this was the only intervention used in the study and that it takes only a few minutes a day, the results are nothing short of miraculous.

This exercise is a staple of Happiness 101, a class using methods proven by empirical research to restore hope, lift depression and offer alternatives to suicide. The free class —which is now awebinar, also offered free of charge to help reduce suicide in Utah — uses simple yet scientifically-proven methods and techniques to help those in the grips of depression see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. For instance, when one makes a pessimistic statement, using the technique of disputation quickly and easily loosens the grip of pessimism. If one thinks, “I’m doomed,” and that thought goes unchecked, then one will have the emotional experience of hopelessness. However, if one simply asks oneself, “Is that really true?” the dark clouds of pessimism are easily broken, allowing hope to shine through.

There is hope. Suicide is preventable. If you are thinking of suicide, please call 1-800-SUICIDE.

To view the article complete with related stories and comments, go to KSL.

Oct 222011
 
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Today I pause to appreciate my anger. It is feedback to me that I have been tread upon or witnessed some wrong-doing. My anger calls me to action and can be used as fuel when I CHOOSE to point it in the right direction.

 

Frank~The Happy Therapist

Jun 222011
 
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Today my wife took to task a woman in the grocery store parking lot who told her husband that he didn’t matter. The angrier she got, the more love I had for her indignation. She reminded me of one of those heroes on “What Would You Do”. Debbi Macfarlane-Clayton, you seriously rock.

Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

Jun 222011
 
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I literally had only minutes before my presentation but I was not properly registered. The nice lady in registration immediately recognized my plight and went out of her way to take care of my needs while the regular registration person was busy on the phone. She even gave me enough parking validations not only for me, but for my assistant. Very kind.

Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

Jun 222011
 
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When I got to my office building, my friend saw that I had several loads of equipment to bring in and went out of his way and insisted that he help. This helped me get ready for my 6:15pm appointment. A helping hand when you really need it feels so good. Today I acknowledge the helping hand.

Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

Jun 222011
 
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The nice custodian at University of Utah’s Union building. He was SO nice! He offered to help me set up and then when we realized we were in the wrong room (see Positive #1) he personally escorted me to the other side of the (large) building and made sure I was in the right place. He even carried some things! It made a big difference :)

Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

Jun 222011
 
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Mary Ellen from Genesis Books who is a sponsor of Happiness 101. Mary Ellen made sure there were plenty of my recommended books on hand. I was really glad that she did so attendees could buy happiness books that are scientifically proven to work. Thanks Mary Ellen and Genesis Books for your continued support.

Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

Jun 222011
 
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Lisa Cypers Kamen took time out of her very busy schedule and a very limited stay in Utah to attend my lecture today. She is such an amazing, supportive person. Her compliments made me blush and she suggested (and even pressed a little) about how I should apply to the University of Utah as an adjunct teacher. Thank you Lisa for your support and friendship.

Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

Jun 222011
 
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The University of Utah offered to let me use a handcart to lug around the amp, speaker and prizes I brought for the talk. This saved me many trips and perspiration, helping me to stay lemony fresh. ;)  This was a real day saver too because if I hadn’t had it when I realized I was in the wrong room (see Positive #1), there is no way I would have started on time. Yeah, Cart.

Frank Clayton , the Happy Therapist