Suicide Awareness: 5 Things I Learned After the Loss of a Friend From Suicide by Lindsay Gerszt

Suicide Awareness: 5 Things I Learned After the Loss of a Friend From Suicide

Years ago, I lost my dear friend, Naomi Knoles, from suicide. I met Naomi when we interviewed her for When The Bough Breaks, a documentary about postpartum depression

Naomi suffered from postpartum psychosis and ultimately took her daughter's life. After spending 10 years in prison for her crime, she also took her own life. Her story is a tragic one and changed my life forever. 

This is what I learned after Naomi lost her battle with depression:

  • Do not blame yourself. There was nothing YOU did that would have caused someone to harm themselves.
  • Never judge anyone. We all have our demons, just some are more visible than others.
  • Always be kind. You never know when someone needs encouraging words, an ear to be heard or even just a smile from you.
  • Show support to their family and friends. They need it and not just right after the tragedy.
  • Share their story! We have to keep their memory alive. Others will learn from their struggles and pain. Sharing their story may save someone's life.

Everyone has a story to tell and a story worth sharing!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.

If you're struggling 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. While some areas may be currently able to connect to the Lifeline by dialing 988, this dialing code will be available to everyone across the United States starting on July 16, 2022. The current Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, even after 988 is launched nationally.

Note: The content on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

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Elisa Schmitz
I am so sorry for your loss, Lindsay Gerszt . I cannot imagine the pain. Thank you for sharing this very personal, and very important, message. We can all learn from you and do more to help, even if that means just a smile or kind word. So glad you are part of our tribe! {{HUGS}}
Stephanie Cannoe
Lindsay Gerszt I know this heartbreak. When I was 8 months pregnant for my second son, my best friend committed suicide and spent her last day with me. A factor in my PPD diagnosis. The guilt is har, so I could not agree more strongly - do not blame yourself. Easier said than done. Thank you for sharing her story.
Lindsay Gerszt
Stephanie I'm so sorry for your loss as well. It's so hard to come to terms with it. I think the guilt is extremely difficult and we have to keep reminding ourselved that there was nothing we could have done.... I knew something was wrong when I hadn't heard from her in a while. She always called or sent me a text and was soooo excited that Brooke Shields had signed on for the film. Thank you for sharing as well!
Stephanie Cannoe
That's the heartbreaking part, you feel it on some level. So important to share. Thank you.
Ann Marie Patitucci
Lindsay, I'm so sorry for your heartbreaking loss. Thank you for sharing these important and helpful words with us. I'm so happy that you're part of our tribe. I have no doubt that you will inspire and help many people in our community.
Lindsay Gerszt
Thank you @amghalstead. I appreciate your support. So happy to be here.
Kim Kusiciel
Lindsay Gerszt, this is just an unimaginable loss. I am so sorry you lost a friend, but I am so proud of you and your team for sharing her story and educating others. I am so glad you are here and spreading the good word. Here is a pin you can use and share to continue to promote the lessons you have learned. Lots of love to you.
Lindsay Gerszt
Thank you Kim! I really appreciate this. Because of 30 Seconds sharing this on Pinterest I have just started a When The Bough Breaks pinterest page. I truly appreciate your support! xo
Elisa Schmitz
Thank you, Kim Kusiciel , for the wonderful pin for Lindsay Gerszt 's amazing post. This is just another example of why #30Seconds tribe is simply the best. Thank you both for making life better - you make a difference to me and so many!!!
Naomi's story was so heartbreaking. I couldn't stop the tears from coming as she told her story in the doc. I was crushed when I saw that she died. I can't imagine the guilt she felt. The one thing that stood out to me was that she was alone. In what other country are single moms with infants who have to work full time excepted to tough it out alone. I am also a single mom, but I was lucky to live with my parents w my daughter from birth to age 5. I can honestly say that it was this factor and the grace of God that my daughter and I are okay today. RIP Naomi- you'll never be alone again sweety.
Lindsay Gerszt
Thank you for your comment. Naomi was a truly beautiful person. Her pain ran deep and her story will help so many. I will keep sharing it in hopes that every time someone will learn from it. ❤️
Hector Belardo
Heartbreaking. I wept thinking about my wife and others. I'm sorry for all who were hurt by the loss.
Hector Belardo
I'm so sorry for your loss Lindsay. You are making a difference . . . saving lives and families. Thank you.
Lindsay Gerszt
Thank you Hector. I know you understand and I am sorry for all you have been through. Together we all can make a difference.
Molly Laird
You truly are making a difference. Thank you for sharing her story, your story and all your advice. You are a beautiful person.
Lindsay Gerszt
Thank you Molly. I appreciate you writing and your words. They mean so much to me.
Nicole Sherman
I was just thinking about you Lindsay Gerszt. I remembered from the documentary you were several years still suffering postpartum. I've been doing really well until the last two months. I really felt like I had overcome until suddenly it's felt like it's starting to come crashing down again, like I've taken 5 steps backwards. That reminded me of you. My son is about to turn two. It feels like this ppd should be long gone. So then I wondered if after searching different methods if you ever found any relief? And after this long is it really ppd or just depression at this point?
Holly Michelle
Thank you Lindsay Gerszt for continuing to share our dear Naomi's story. I'm so sorry for your ongoing grieving, as well as the rest of ours (I met you at the doc premiere, I believe...Holly, Naomi's friend since Jr. High). Nothing can really fill a Naomi-shaped hole in our hearts, but we can fill our hearts with my other loved ones to distract from it. And keep advocating for stigma reduction of mental health issues & more help for those who struggle. Thank you, always, for bravely sharing your journey & your work on the amazing documentary. I'm sure it is & will continue to save lives. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Elisa Schmitz
Thank you for all you are doing to raise awareness and help prevent more tragedies, Lindsay Gerszt . You are amazing. xoxo
Lindsay Gerszt
Thank you for sharing this again. Every time you do I hear from people that can relate and are grateful. ❤️
Amber Slade
Watching the documentary as a mother going through ppd I ugly cried, but t when I got the the end where we were informed that this beautiful woman took her own life shortly after her “new beginning” I just bawled. I don’t know what is the next level of ugly cry, but that was me. I only hope Naomies family understand just how much her participation in this documentary help other mothers, such as myself get through this difficult time.
Sarah Jessee
I’m am so incredibly sorry for your loss! I absolutely loved this documentary! It helped me a lot! It made me want to get help it made me want to learn more about postpartum and depression. My heart broke for her as she told her story in the documentary I pray she found peace and is now with her baby girl 💕
Disciple making movement
Losing a loved one to suicide can be devastating. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the death, things like complicated family dynamics, shifting roles, and different coping styles can test. Visit:
Julio Caro
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