Kathleen M. Pike, PhD

Language Matters

A loyal reader of Five of Friday recently wrote to me with some feedback. She kindly started with a compliment and then expressed her concern for how I spoke about suicide in my TEDx Talk, which she happened upon online. She is right. That talk is from 12 years ago,

What Martin Luther King, Jr. Knew But Never Said

This Five on Friday is from last year, and bears repeating. On Monday, we pay tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. Stories and accolades will fill every form of media. Appropriately so. We will celebrate this legendary leader’s commitment to nonviolence and his extraordinary legacy of fighting for racial justice


Urgent and sometimes terrifying, time is of the essence when it comes to a mental health crisis. People need to know they are not alone and need to know where to turn for help. Launched last month, 988 is the new Suicide & Crisis Lifeline in the United States. Easy

Surviving Suicide Times Two

Pooja is a public health graduate student and mental health advocate. She is also a survivor of attempted suicide and a survivor of suicide loss with her brother’s death sixteen months ago. This past year, Pooja was a student of mine. I was just as much a student of hers.

A Year of COVID by Broadway

Exactly one year ago, I picked up my daughter from her university apartment in Baltimore to drive to NYC, pick up her twin brother, and depart the city to wait out the passing of the novel coronavirus. Exactly one year ago, Broadway went dark for what was to be a

Lose Hope, Game Over

Lose hope. Game over. The words of a dear friend ring in my ears these days. But it’s hard to stay hopeful. Just when it seems like things cannot get worse, they do. The US Presidential debate was a spectacle and a debacle. I have texts from friends who live


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg bid the world farewell last Friday as Jews around the world welcomed in the new year. The Notorious RBG is the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and is the first woman and first Jew to lie in State in the United States Capitol.

Happy Interdependence Day

Tomorrow is Independence Day in the United States. Signed in 1776, the Declaration of Independence put forward a bold vision on a profoundly flawed foundation that included only white male property owners. This vision and exclusion set the future for what would become the United States of America.  In 2020,


Last week, the United States Supreme Court decided a landmark civil rights case. In a 6-3 ruling, the court determined that federal anti-bias law, already on the books for decades, covers millions of gay, lesbian and transgender workers. It is being heralded as another milestone for the gay rights movement.

Find Your Seat at the Table for Suicide Prevention

Last Thursday, October 10 was World Mental Health Day. An international day for mental health education, awareness, and advocacy. This year’s focus was suicide prevention. We participated in various advocacy initiatives, including raising awareness that someone dies by suicide every 40 seconds. In addition to our advocacy efforts, this week, my

Know My Name

Trigger warning: sexual assault, sexual abuse, PTSD, suicide Chanel Miller, the victim of the now-infamous sexual assault case at Stanford University in 2015, has decided to share her name. She was known as Emily Doe when she read her searing victim impact statement in court, and in newspapers she was called ‘unconscious

Mental Health Decisions in this Era of Information Overload

Two of my kids just had their annual dental checkups. The dentist, who I like very much, recommends that they have their wisdom teeth removed. Sort of straightforward, except that a growing number of oral health professionals have moved away from prophylactic extractions. What should we do? Making good healthcare

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