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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Taking The Cape Off: How to Lead Through Mental Illness, Unimaginable Grief and Loss by Patrick J. Kenny is a powerful self-help book for leaders who need help navigating the dark waters of grief and loss. Fire Chief Pat Kenny had his identity wrapped up in being a leader. He was strong, a protector, and felt he could handle anything life dealt him. But when his son Sean took his own life after years of fighting mental illness, his position as leader of a fire department became clouded. He was a failure in his own eyes. This book is more than a memoir of loss; it's a guide for others--perhaps you're one of them--who need help moving through the darkness and into the light. The book is designed for leaders, but anyone can benefit.
Kenny honestly and bravely shares his personal journey and shows leaders how they can use professionals and their own faith to confront the social stigma surrounding mental illness in a variety of settings, from community, to home, to work, and elsewhere. Communication is a key component to being a leader, and the author shows you how to improve communication skills when dealing with a personal crisis. Kenny also covers how to maintain a healthy connection to your lost loved one's memory, how to be more affective, and how to serve others. I admire the openness that the author uses and his thorough approach to the subject matter. Mental health is still a taboo topic in some circles. It's easier for some to talk about it than others, but the fact that Kenny was bold enough to expose his private life, thoughts, and process is a testament to his leadership skills and helping attitude. You don't have to be the head of a fire department to learn from this book. Taking The Cape Off by Patrick J. Kenny is for anyone who needs to hear that it's okay to take your cape off and accept help.