Mental health is something that people usually avoid talking about. It is a taboo topic that limits and discourages many people from speaking openly about their mental state of mind. Keeping the seriousness and sensitivity in mind, renowned speaker and leadership coach Sherry James, PMP has deep-dived into the taboo subjects of mental health management and suicide awareness through her personal experiences. She is all set to turn her writing from corporate training and project management documents to mental health and wellness author and will be launching her debut novel titled ‘After Suicide: Leading With Love And Light’ soon in Dallas, Texas. The novel speaks about her journey after the unfortunate suicide of her father, a former Air Force veteran. The poignant story covers relevant topics like mental health, suicide prevention and suicide awareness for its readers.
Sharing her life-long trauma with her own personal backstory, the novel also speaks about Sherry’s fears, insecurities and hardships. The book narrates her life story with the readers in a conversation with her father where she shares the implications of the survivor’s guilt which she felt. She is also grateful to those who helped her become a leader and parent today. Self-healing, discovery and turning tragedy into a purpose are some of the important lessons she has learned in life. “I felt the need to share my story thinking that it may help someone who has been affected by similar issues. The suicide pandemic will continue if no one has the nerve to talk about it,” Sherry stated in a recent interview.
Being an active speaker, James has worked and partnered with many brands and organizations including AT&T, 7-Eleven Corp, PMI, The National Diversity Council, UT Dallas, IMA, OSU, HollyFrontier and is an alum of the WOMEN, Unlimited LEAD Program (Princeton Club, NYC). Her vision is to touch 2020 lives in the year 2020 and make people understand the importance of mental health. Speaking about her debut novel, Sherry says, “I think that my book gives people an opportunity to talk about mental health in a way that doesn’t have to be shameful. The book is written in a way that I share some of my struggles and then I share the lessons I’ve learned as a result. I then give the reader a space to write their own thoughts and feelings in regard and also I give them activities to complete to help engage with others, too. Yes, the readers of this book will have tools and tips to help find resources to help them manage their mental well-being.”
After writing the book, the author was in shock knowing about the number of people being impacted by suicide. Calling herself an advocate for mental health professionals, she is the one who will always have a listening ear to those fighting against mental problems. “Life is hard. My dad’s suicide has haunted me my entire life. With this book, I am taking my power over the stigma about mental health conversations. I made the book short, engaging and interactive. These are the most important characteristics in having conversations about mental health and wellness”, she added.