13:36 PM

A Message of Encouragement: You Matter

beachWhenever a member of the Cook Children’s family dies, it hurts. When the death stems from suicide, the devastation is surrounded by questions, confusion, and uncertainty. Please know this is perfectly normal.                      

We do not know why Dr. Blake Palmer, who was an acclaimed and gifted surgeon who modeled Our Promise every day, completed suicide. 

But we do know we don’t want anyone else at Cook Children’s, or outside of our system, to ever feel that way again.

We know you’re working in a tough profession and one that weighs on you. The pandemic has made an already stressful environment even worse. The struggle is real.  

We want you to know that you are not alone. We are ALL dealing with something. As the new and oft-repeated phrase says: "It is okay to not be okay." (Check out this new app: notOK app.)

We want you to hear: You are important and needed in this world.  You matter.  

When you feel overwhelmed or full of despair – we want you take a moment to breathe and think about the people in your life that you can call and talk with. Maybe a name doesn’t come immediately to mind and that’s okay. There is still someone who wants to hear from you and wants you here. 

“Be brave enough to ask for help when you need it. There is no merit badge for doing hard things alone.” – Maggie Smith

We have resources in place that are just a phone call away, which you can access to help others who may be struggling. 

Resources For You

RaisingJoy coverRaising Joy and the Joy Campaign 

Raising Joy is a Cook Children's podcast dedicated to suicide prevention and mental health. Listen wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Episode two of Raising Joy features a particularly raw conversation with pediatrician Kathleen Powderly, M.D., of Cook Children’s Pediatrics Magnolia in Fort Worth.  Read a special message from Dr. Kristen Pyrc, and hear Dr. Powderly share why she is passionate about this topic, including her own personal struggles. We are so incredibly grateful for Dr. Powderly's passion, transparency and all her contributions to Cook Children's and the Joy Campaign.

We also have a host of mental health-related articles featuring many Cook Children's experts. 

Tips on Taking Time and Supporting Each Other

It will take time to cope with this latest loss. Let’s all show ourselves and each other a little more grace.  A few more tips include:

  • When you are away from work, we hope that you will take some time to rest and recharge. We all need regular breaks and a chance to disconnect.
  • Take a moment to visit with and listen to those around you. If you see someone hurting who just doesn’t seem like themselves, encourage them to seek help from family, a trusted friend, a member of the clergy or a mental health professional.  It is also okay to ask, “Are you considering suicide?” (Data supports asking that direct question vs. "Are you okay?” or “Are you going to hurt yourself?”)
  • Remember your boundaries. Health care workers are caregivers and naturally want to help, but you are not responsible for taking care of everyone. You can't carry everyone's burdens.
  • Be kind and compassionate. You never know when someone may be going through a difficult time. 

Ways to Honor and Share

dr. palmer meditation roomIf you would like to sign a memorial book for Dr. Palmer’s family, please contact Spiritual Care. 

In lieu of flowers, Dr. Palmer’s family requests donations to https://drlornabreen.org/ and Cook Children's Camps for Kids. More information is here.

We are thinking of you all. Please let us know if there is anything you need.





JOY campaign