In Memory of Morgan: 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 small local project to one of the world’s premier mental and emotional health websites.
- Robert and Jeanne Segal, Helpguide’s Co-founders
About Morgan 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 Martinez – Columnist, Los Angeles Times
Click here to download a free PDF file that contains a complete copy of Morgan’s Voice
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.
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.
Please donate today to support Helpguide.org
We started Helpguide.org in 1999 because we believe that everyone facing mental and emotional health challenges deserves to have access to free, unbiased information without being pressured by special interests or corporate sponsors. Today, Helpguide provides support for tens of millions of people and their families each year, helping them understand and resolve their health issues.
Our policy of not accepting advertising or corporate sponsorship gives us complete editorial autonomy and the freedom to focus on the most effective sources of support for our visitors and their loved ones.
Your support can make a huge difference. As a nonprofit health organization, we rely on donations from our generous readers to maintain the quality and integrity of the website. By helping us, you can ensure that we are able to continue supporting people like you—and those you care about—when you need it the most.
Jeanne and Robert Segal, Helpguide co-founders
What is your money used for?
Our materials are based on the latest research so they need to be updated regularly by our team of experienced mental health professionals and writers. While we are able to keep our overhead extremely low, we still have to pay our staff, rent, web hosting, and other monthly expenses. We are very proud that each $10 tax-deductible contribution provides support and help for more than 1,500 people.
How can you donate to Helpguide.org?
- Make a one-time or recurring (monthly) secure donation via PayPal.
- Mail a check, payable to Helpguide.org International, to 1250 Sixth Street, Suite 400, Santa Monica, CA 90401.
How can you honor someone or their memory?
If you wish to honor someone or their memory—please let us know by:
- using PayPal’s “add special instructions …” link (visible after PayPal login)
- or adding a note with your check.
Helpguide.org International is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, ID# 45-4510670. Contributions to Helpguide.org International are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Board of Directors
Helpguide's Board of Directors includes Robert Segal, Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. and the following people:
Marti Glenn, Ph.D. , was the founding President of Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. She has been a pioneering psychotherapist for over 25 years, as well as a professor of clinical psychology specializing in attachment, early development, and trauma. She was the founding Academic Dean at Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Monika White, Ph.D. , is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Gerontology, at the University of Southern California and former President/CEO of Center for Healthy Aging. She has worked with older adults and their families since the mid-1970s. An author, lecturer and teacher, Dr. White is a pioneer in the field of aging and a former board member of the American Society on Aging.
Sharon Gantz Bloome is former National Board member for Antioch University. She was a co-founder of two non-profit organizations: the Coalition on the Environment and Heart of America Northwest. Ms. Bloome received an Honorary Master of Science in Environmental Studies and a Lifetime Achievement Award in Environmental Conservation from Antioch New England Graduate School.
Damon Ramsey, MD, is a health technology expert. He resides in Vancouver, B.C., where he is a family practice resident at St. Paul's Hospital and UBC and the founder and CEO of Healthism, an online medical resource.
Joanna Saisan, MSW, Content Advisor. Joanna is a freelance writer with a master's degree in social work and over ten years experience in mental health, older adults, and working with veterans.
Maya W. Paul , Certified Holistic Health Counselor, Content Advisor. Maya is a nutritionist, and health consultant. In her private practice, she works to transform the lives of her clients through a holistic approach to health and wellness.