With 4 family suicides, Rachel Steinman had wondered, “why would someone who was seemingly healthy die by suicide?” In an effort to understand her family – and therefore understand herself – she delved into her family history with the intention of being able to break family patterns of trauma and mental health. After writing an essay about suicide that went viral, she is continuing to uncover the story that spans 5 generations of trauma and is writing a memoir, piecing together the family secrets left behind from a manuscript of her grandfather’s. Rachel now has become a mental health advocate, speaking to teens on how to model and reframe language around mental health, to get rid of stigma and shame, and to normalize mental health struggles and help to create more open conversations. In this conversation, Rachel and I share many of our commonalities, including experiencing suicide in our families, and talk through the importance of understanding trauma and mental health, as we know it gets passed on in our DNA. If you are someone who has dealt with suicide or any mental health challenges in your families, you won’t want to miss this powerful conversation.
Learn more about Rachel: Rachel Steinman is a Los Angeles native who studied developmental psychology at UCSB and got her teaching credentials and Masters in Education from UCLA. She’s a creative kindergarten teacher at heart who has taught every elementary school grade including being the librarian.
After discovering her beloved grandfather’s incomplete manuscript 24 years after he jumped from his Beverly Hills high rise, Rachel set out to cut the intergenerational trauma she was desperate to not pass on. Shame from dark family secrets from her family’s substance abuse, homelessness, and marital affairs was replaced with love and understanding. Her family’s five generations of mental illness from bipolar, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and ADHD that led to four suicides no one ever discussed were replaced with compassion and advocacy.
After writing an article that spoke to her trauma related to her family’s suicides and the various forms of mental illness, and what she wished she could have said before tragedy struck, she realized that there were many people that wanted and needed to share their stories. Her Dear Family, Podcast was the medium that best suited this narrative. Rachel’s curiosity, willingness to be frank, and intimate storytelling abilities not only saved her and her relationships, but they also inspire others to open up, ask for help, forgive, learn, and find peace and mental wellness.
Dear Family, https://writenowrachel.com/podcast/
My website http://writenowrachel.com
Write Now Rachel blog on Medium https://medium.com/@writenowrachel