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In Memory of Morgan: Helpguide's Story

Helpguide's Story

In 1996, antidepressant medications were considered perfectly safe by the FDA. Now, these very popular drugs are required to carry a warning:

“Antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders...”

Unfortunately, these warnings came too late for our daughter, Morgan Leslie Segal, who died in 1996 at the age of 29. For six years, she grappled with a condition that started as low self-esteem and worsened into major depression. During this period she was given a variety of SSRI and other medications. She stuck with a single therapeutic mode and her prescribed medications even though the combination seemed to just make her worse. Finally, in desperation, she committed suicide.

Helpguide was launched in 1999, inspired by our belief that Morgan’s tragedy could have been avoided if she had access to unbiased, reliable information that gave her a sense of hope and direction. Since then, this website has grown from a local Rotary Club project to an internationally recognized resource serving over 70 million people a year.

- Robert and Jeanne Segal, Helpguide’s Co-founders

About Morgan Segal

Morgan Leslie Segal

Morgan Leslie Segal was a middle child, the peacemaker. She was quiet and gentle with compassion that encompassed anyone and anything that was troubled or hurting. In high school she first found her voice as a writer for the school paper and yearbook staff. In her college years she fell in love with the Spanish language and traveled to Washington, DC as an intern for the Latino Congressional Caucus.

She visited a dozen countries with the Semester at Sea program. A year later, traveling with a friend, she backpacked through Eastern Europe indulging her talent as a photographer, taking intimate, detailed, and revealing photos of young and old alike.

In her mid-twenties the life that was soaring began to falter. She changed her name to Morgan - "woman of the sea." She almost completed a graduate psychology program but decided she preferred writing and left to attend Sarah Lawrence College. Later, she became a feature writer for the USC Daily Trojanand a literary magazine.

Though Morgan continued to grow as a writer, she increasingly lost touch with herself and retreated from those who loved her, finally ending her life shortly after her 29th birthday.

About Morgan's Voice

After her death, we found her laptop computer containing a collection of her personal poems and stories. This led to the publication of Morgan's Voice.

" … She wrote whimsy as well as she wrote tense and somber drama, reflecting elements of herself, as a writer must, in such a way as to reveal both the light and the shadows that alternately brightened and darkened her soul. In this wonderful book her genius emerges in careful stages and we are at one with a soaring talent which, like a bird in flight, fell too soon to the earth below …"

Al MartinezColumnist, Los Angeles Times

Click here to download a free PDF file that contains a complete copy of Morgan’s Voice

Our Team

Founders and Co-publishers

Robert Segal, M.A., Managing Director, holds an engineering degree and a master's degree in Educational Psychology. After a career in engineering design and project management, he founded and managed Segal Enterprises, a commercial real estate development and management firm. He served for nine years on the board of the California Community Foundation and has been an active board member of numerous other community service organizations.

Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., Editorial Director, has been helping individuals and families for over 40 years as an innovator within the fields of emotional intelligence, holistic health, attachment, stress reduction and relationships. She coordinated a series of conferences linking brain development to the emotional relationship between infants and their caretakers. She has written five books, which have been published in 13 languages.

Explore Dr. Segal's Wide Range of Social / Emotional Health Resources and Events »

Robert and Jeanne Segal have been married for 55 years and continue their work as a creative partnership.

Research, writing, and website development

Melinda Smith, M.A., Senior Editor, is a freelance writer with a master's degree in psychology and over ten years experience as a health writer and editor. She is passionate about keeping up with the latest research and giving readers the facts they need to make better choices and take control of their mental health.

Lawrence Robinson, Editor, is a freelance writer with over ten years experience working for print and online publications, covering a wide range of subjects in the health and fitness fields. He is also a published author and has edited several books on psychology.

Adrian Tarango, Webmaster, is a web developer with over fifteen years experience in developing and optimizing websites and web applications. He's worked in industries ranging from accounting and document management to e-commerce and social media.

Greg Boose, Copy Editor / Asst. Webmaster, is a writer with over ten years experience, covering a wide range of subjects in the entertainment, literary and health fields.