EP 06: Suicide Attempt: A Mother's Experience with Lisa Squier

Today’s episode is one of hope and healing. We are joined by Lisa Squier, who shares details about her daughter’s suicide attempt two years ago. Being a single mom, Lisa has always been very close to her daughters, yet the suicide attempt by Emily, her youngest daughter, caught her completely off-guard. Lisa had not known that Emily was struggling with her mental health at all until she uncharacteristically woke up in the middle of the night and found her daughter unconscious. She also talks about what the journey since the incident has been like. She and Emily have had to establish a completely different relationship, where full honesty was the central tenet. This meant that Lisa had to get comfortable with asking the tough questions in order to understand how Emily was truly feeling. The incident took an emotional and mental toll on Lisa who found that she had PTSD afterward. She shares the ways that she has found support since and how although she cannot erase what happened, she has tools that allow her to cope with it being a part of her reality. Lisa and Emily have chosen to be open with their story in the hopes that sharing it will have positive effects, no matter how big or small. They have already seen evidence of it, and hope to continue with their cause. Tune in for all this and much more!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Despite being very close to her daughter, Lisa saw no signs of Emily struggling mentally.
  • How Lisa found Emily after her suicide attempt when she was 18.
  • What happened when Lisa went to the emergency room with her daughter.
  • Some of the incredible work that first responders do.
  • Even a few days after the incident, Lisa struggled to piece together what had happened.
  • After Emily was released from the hospital, she went to a psychiatric hospital.
  • Lisa did some ‘investigative’ work of her own to put the story together.
  • The clues that Emily left for Lisa in the event that she succeeded with her plan.
  • For Lisa, it was hard when Emily was in the psychiatric hospital because she was in the dark.
  • Why it was like bringing a newborn home when Emily was discharged from the psychiatric facility.
  • Permission for full disclosure: why being 100% honest was the only way to move forward.
  • Mental health is a backward journey – you start with medication and diagnose from there.
  • Finding the balance between allowing independence versus helping was difficult for Lisa.
  •  Lisa realized that she had PTSD after Emily’s incident and how she dealt with it.
  • The ability to always be present helped Lisa cope with the incident greatly.
  • In a sensitive situation, people do want to help, but often do not know how to.
  • A surprising outcome: many people approached Lisa saying that they had similar situations.
  • A powerful moment that showed Lisa why advocating for mental wellness was the right path.
  • Some of the other blessings that have come from Lisa and Emily’s situation.


“I didn’t care who knew at that point. I wanted everybody to know because I need as much help as humanly possible.” — Lisa Squier [0:09:21]

“The fact that it did not work is proof to me that it was not supposed to.” —  Lisa Squier [0:10:47]

“Trust is a huge, huge, huge thing in our family. If you don’t have that, you don’t have anything.” — Lisa Squier [0:17:08]

“Anger means action.” — Lisa Squier [0:29:58]

“Just ask the hard questions.” — Lisa Squier [0:41:34]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Kevin Hines

Kevin Hines on Twitter

Living Out Loud



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