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Highland – An entrepreneur and bestselling author from Utah was forced to take action due to the suicide of his close friend – he started a program to help people develop a healthy relationship with their emotions and aid in suicide prevention.
September has been designated as Suicide Prevention Month, and Curtis Morley of Highland, Utah is calling on people living in Utah — part of America’s “suicide belt,” an area of the western U.S. where suicide rates are especially high. Is higher than – Focus on developing emotional resilience towards each other and getting the resources they need.
Morley said, “It’s OK to feel — and to feel deeply. And, if you need help, help is out there.”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in the summer of 2020 that isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased levels of anxiety and depression among young adults, and 25.5% of those ages 18 to 24 People are considering suicide.
Morley called it an “emotional epidemic.” He believes that the main reason people consider suicide is not because they actually want to end their lives, but because they want to avoid pain.
Morley said, “It’s because the pain and shame are so great that they need to run away. If we get rid of that shame…then there’s no need to run away.” “Leaving the shame behind and moving toward responsibility, moving toward guilt, and moving toward making people whole will eliminate suicidal ideation.”
“We need to get out of this new pandemic right now,” he said.
‘I’m going to do something about it’
Two years earlier, Morley was working on the sequel to his bestselling business guidebook, “The Entrepreneur’s Paradox”, when he learned that his close friend Jerry Williamson had died by suicide.
Morley said, “It still hurts. It does. I don’t agree with him leaving this earth so soon.” “And I said, ‘I don’t agree with it, but I’m going to do something about it.’”
Since her divorce nearly three years ago, Morley has been journaling, researching and working on learning how to deal with difficult emotions. They found a difference between “authentic” emotions like guilt, pain and connection – which move someone to action, versus “fake” emotions like shame and sadness, which drive people down.
When Williamson died, Morley said he realized that if his friend had known how to cope with his pain, he might have survived. They tried to find more resources on authentic versus fake emotions. But when he couldn’t do that, he called his publisher and said, “I need to write a very different book.”
Morley began working with focus groups to refine his ideas and is now writing a new book called “Counterfeit Emotions.” While the book is still in progress, he has also formed a company under the same title. Through their series of online classes, people can learn to distinguish between 33 “authentic” and “fake” emotional pairings, including guilt vs. shame, pain vs. sadness, love vs. lust, and power vs. control.
‘Pain and pleasure can exist together’
Morley said that an authentic sense of belonging helps people connect to themselves and to others, inspiring them to move upward and forward, if it is motivated by love and devotion rather than fear and control, and if it helps them feel themselves. Gives more importance to.
Morley said, “Genuine feelings, every one of them, regard me as infinitely valuable. The fake ones say I am worthless.”
Her goal is to help people learn, “It’s okay to feel.”
He said, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” “Most people, including myself, have never learned that principle… that pain and pleasure can co-exist in the same space.”
The more pain we are capable of feeling, the more love we are capable of feeling.
-Curtis Morley, Founder and CEO of Counterfeit Emotions
During Morley’s college years, a friend’s wedding was canceled and he went to console her, telling her he wished he could take away her pain.
“She stopped crying, and she looked at me, and she said, ‘No, Curtis, no – if you take the pain away, you have to take the love away, too. And I’ll never take this love away. Wanted to forget.’ ,
Morley explained that people who suppress their pain also suppress their capacity for joy, and that no emotion is bad, but all can be messengers. He said that he is grateful for what the pain has taught him, and has gone from seeing himself as a victim in his life to becoming a conqueror and even a character who Can help do good things for other people.
Morley said, “We can minimize our pain… but as we’re doing that, we’re minimizing our love, we’re minimizing our happiness.” “The more pain we are able to feel, the more love we are able to feel.”
Fake Emotions co-hosted its first Safe2Feel conference at Utah Tech University earlier this year to teach emotional intelligence skills to teens and young adults. Morley’s company will hold a second conference Nov. 4 at Utah Valley University in Orem. Tickets are free for anyone aged 12 to 26.
suicide prevention resources
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, call 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
- Huntsman Mental Health Institute Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
- SafeUT Crisis Line: 833-372-3388
- 988 Suicide and Crisis on Lifeline 988
- The Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386
- SecureUT: Parents, students and teachers can connect with a licensed crisis counselor via chat by downloading the SAFEUT app or calling 833-3SAFEUT (833-372-3388).
- SafeUT Frontline: First responders including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS and health care professionals can download the SafeUT Frontline app to chat with a licensed crisis counselor 24/7/365 at no cost.
- SecureUTNG: National Guard members can download the SafeUTNG app to chat with a licensed crisis counselor at no charge 24/7/365.
- Utah Warm Line: For non-crisis situations when you need a listener to help you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call 1-833 SPEAKUT from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, 365 days a year .
- Huntsman Mental Health Institute A variety of programs, including suicide prevention and crisis services, hospice treatment, therapy and medication management, substance use and addiction recovery, child and adolescent programs, and maternal mental health services including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility and perinatal and Provides services. Mood and anxiety disorders.
- LiveOnUtah.org is a statewide effort to prevent suicide by promoting education, providing resources, and changing Utah’s culture around suicide and mental health. They provide resources for faith-based groups, LGBTQ+, youth, employers, gun suicide prevention and crisis and treatment options.
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Gabrielle Shiozawa is a reporter for KSL.com.
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