Last Day

Last Day

Let’s talk about what’s killing us, the stuff that’s hard to comprehend and getting worse every day. Join host Stephanie Wittels Wachs, as she confronts massive epidemics with humanity, wit, and a quest for progress. While Season 1 chronicled the opioid crisis in America, Season 2 delves into the growing suicide rate, telling real stories, talking to experts, and asking everyone along the way, "How did we get here, and what could we have done differently?"

Episodes

February 17, 2021 57 min
We’re not done yet! We are back with an encore episode to respond to all of your amazing feedback over the course of the season. Stephanie, Jackie and Dr. Robin Hornstein (Jackie’s high school therapist who you might remember from episode 10) answer listener voicemails, emails, and DMs about season two. Come for the insight, stay for the montage of Stephanie losing her mind behind the mic.? ? Resources from the episode: Learn mor...
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Season 2 Finale! We started this season on a bridge but told you not to get caught up in the romantic notion of saviors and last minute interventions. Suicide isn’t about one moment in time. But if you or someone you love is suicidal, a single moment can be the difference between life and death. So, this week we’re doing a toolkit episode all about crisis response. What do you do when help is needed right now? This week, we role pl...
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January 27, 2021 55 min
Did you know 1 in 4 suicides involve alcohol? Some studies actually place it closer to 40%. Where is the line between having a drink to decompress and getting black out drunk because you don’t want to exist? This week, we talk to Ana Marie Cox and Air Britt, about how alcohol helped them feel comfortable in their own skin...until it didn’t anymore. How do you go from waking up wanting to die, to feeling grateful every day that you’...
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January 20, 2021 61 min
This week, Stephanie and Jackie are switching roles to answer a simple question: Was I a suicidal teen girl? We start in a closet, revisit a high school therapist, talk to a self-injury expert and watch a tortured student film festival entry. And crying. There’s lots of crying.? ? This episode features: Dr. Robin Hornstein & Dr. Janis Whitlock ? ? Resources from the episode: Cornell Self-Injury & Recovery resources Heal...
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It turns out, there’s more to suicide prevention than crisis hotline numbers and inspirational memes. This week, we’re looking at the concept of upstream intervention - because the most effective way to convince someone to live is to help them create a life worth living. We explore the toll of historical trauma for American Indians and Alaska Natives, communities currently experiencing an unprecedented rise in suicide while also co...
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December 16, 2020 57 min
This week we’re talking about ACEs - aka - Adverse Childhood Experiences. How do you move forward when there’s a lot of pain in your past? And how are you supposed to open up when you were raised not to air your dirty laundry?? We’re joined by WNBA superstar Chamique Holdsclaw who dealt with her parents addiction early on and Music Industry Exec Mike Heyliger who talks about navigating his LGBTQ identity in an abusive home. We also...
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December 9, 2020 56 min
Imagine you’re six months pregnant with your first child and the person you love, the person with whom you’ve built a life, wakes you up in the middle of the night convinced there are people in the house. But...there aren’t. He’s convinced you’re being followed. But...you’re not. Where do you turn for help when your mental health crisis is invisible? Jenny Heddin took her husband to the emergency room only to find they weren’t equi...
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December 2, 2020 56 min
What’s the point of going to treatment if you’ve essentially been dealt a death sentence? That’s the way some veterans feel about a potential PTSD diagnosis. Another thing holding people back? The fear that their trauma isn’t bad enough. So how do you admit you need help? And where do you turn when you’re ready? This week we’re joined by Jason Kander who served as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan, Tara Consolino, Director of ...
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Happy Thanksgiving! This week, we’re re-airing our very first episode of Last Day from Season One. In it, we meet host Stephanie Wittels Wachs, sister of the late Harris Wittels, comedian-writer-producer-actor, who died in 2015 of a heroin overdose. Harris’ close friends, Sarah Silverman and Aziz Ansari, also join Stephanie as she introduces the concept of the show and why it’s critical that it exists.? ? If you enjoy this episod...
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November 18, 2020 57 min
After losing a loved one to suicide, “why” is often the first question that comes to mind. But what if you had a meticulous case file that filled in the blanks? This week, we talk to Sharon Kritzer, her older sister Noa, and their mom, Batia, about their sister Tali, her chronic depression, and the documentation she left behind that outlined all of it. We also call up Janis Whitlock from Jed, who talks to us about the potential dow...
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November 11, 2020 57 min
They don’t get a lot of attention, but seniors are the most at risk to die by suicide. In 2014, Marguerite Reynolds lost her fiercely independent mother to suicide after a cornea injury left her feeling burdensome and debilitated. This week, we hear her story and are joined by professor and researcher, Yeates Conwell, who unpacks “The Four D’s” that put seniors at an increased risk for suicide. And Stephanie has an uncomfortable - ...
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November 4, 2020 56 min
In his TED Talk, “Be Human(e),” Dr. Jeremy Richman said, “We felt the world was spinning out of control and that if we didn't find something to hold on to, some reason to go on, that we'd get spun right off into this great darkness.” Jeremy delivered this message as both a neuroscientist and a grieving father. He lost his 6 yr old daughter, Avielle, in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. This was one of his last public...
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October 28, 2020 57 min
The term “suicide contagion” gets thrown around a lot in academic papers and media headlines, but what does it actually mean? The term suggests that suicidal ideation is something you can catch, but the reality is much more complicated. This week, we navigate the complexities of suicide clusters from the heart of Silicon Valley, California to the soul of Cowboy Strong, Wyoming. ? Season 2 of Last Day is created in partnership wit...
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October 21, 2020 60 min
We open Season 2 of Last Day with a tale of two Kevins. One is Sergeant Kevin Briggs, also known as the guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge. The other is Kevin Berthia, an Oakland native who drove to that bridge on March 11, 2005 with the intent of ending his life. This week, we tell the larger story behind a moment of intervention — what led up to it and what happened in the 15 years since. We’re also joined by Courtney Knowles, ou...
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October 14, 2020 5 min
Last Day is back for a second season, and we’re tackling another important topic: mental health and the rising rates of suicide. With her baseline irreverence and wit, host Stephanie Wittels Wachs zooms in on a variety of “last days” — some that end tragically and others that have become powerful testaments of survival. Through first-person story-telling, thoughtful conversations, and in-depth collaboration with the mental health c...
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It’s National Suicide Prevention Week, and that means you’re probably seeing a lot of triggering content. We can relate. The Last Day team is hard at work producing season 2, which is all about the rising rate of suicide episode in this country. Why are more people at risk? What can we do to help? And how can we take care of each other when things feel so hopeless? Season 2 arrives Wednesday, October 14th. If you are thinking abou...
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Cindy is a mother of three who was using drugs during each of her pregnancies. She knew it wasn’t healthy for the babies, but she didn’t know how to safely stop. Fearing the doctors would notify authorities, Cindy was afraid to ask for help. Then one day, she made a call to a hotline. This led her to a doctor who gave her the support she needed, and now Cindy is in recovery and wants to share her story. Nzinga goes over some of the...
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Stephanie chats with addiction medicine expert, Dr. Nzinga Harrison, about opioids and addiction in this new pandemic world. How are these unprecedented circumstances affecting those with opioid use and substance use disorders? As a result of social distancing, how have treatment and recovery models shifted? What’s happening with long-standing regulations around medication-assisted treatment? How can we best support ourselves and o...
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The Lumineers’ Jeremiah Fraites reflects on losing his older brother Josh to a heroin overdose in 2001 and the many ways Josh’s death has impacted his life. His mom, Kathy, joins him to fill in the holes that memory has left. From channeling grief through music to finding the “right” support, this candid and beautiful conversation about grief and loss will resonate deeply with Last Day listeners and Lumineers fans alike. Please no...
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April 1, 2020 8 min
We know, we know. We said we were done, but surprise! We’re back to reveal the topic for Last Day Season 2, ask for story submissions, and tell you a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes around here. Tune in! www.lemonadamedia.com/patreon Email us your story ideas to hey@lemonadamedia.com International Association for Suicide Prevention National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 The Trevor Project Befriende...
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