This week’s post is by Debi Strong, who first reached out to this site earlier this year, around the one-year mark after her attempt. She has been a National Parks ranger, a law enforcement officer and a criminalist while fending off depression.
A quick note before jumping into this week’s post: MTV, The Jed Foundation and media company SoulPancake are looking for young adults to participate in a mental health awareness special, “Don’t Give Up: There’s Always Hope.” They’re looking for people between 18 and about 24 who have overcome severe depression, self-harm or suicidal thinking, and their contact is AlwaysHope (at) EpicJunction (dot) com.
This week’s post is an interview with a social worker who wishes to use only her first name, Melissa. She’s one of several people in the mental health field who’ve reached out to this site to talk about their experiences, including the fear among colleagues of acknowledging that this can happen to anyone.
“I would love to see the profession being more open to people with mental illnesses,” she says.
This week, we dive right into Jennifer Garing’s post on a bold project to bring a New Hampshire gun shop suicide prevention project to sprawling Texas (and we point out last week’s article in Salon about this blog and other efforts to share the stories of attempt survivors):
We try not to talk about the means with which people attempt or complete suicide for fear of romanticizing it or creating a cookbook for completion. But sometimes the means are what really matter.
A short post for the holiday. But good news: Finding a therapist who’s willing to work with suicidal clients might get easier. The online therapist finder, HelpPRO, now allows advanced searches for therapists who specialize in “suicidal thoughts.” And it expects to launch a suicide prevention therapist finder later this year.
Blog editor Cara Anna has this week’s post, but first, a few new things worth checking out. Both The New Yorker and The New York Times had pieces on suicide, with the New Yorker one especially thoughtful. Attempt survivor Pat Risser spoke last week at a national suicide prevention event (at about an hour into the video). The Associated Press profiled attempt survivor and Army veteran Joe Miller.
And an interesting new group called the Lived Experience Research Network “advocates for increased accessibility in research and evaluation settings, social justice, and policy change” on behalf of mental health consumers. They’re starting by taking on discrimination in higher education. And now, this week’s post:
This weekend, I had the startling experience of watching someone else tell my story. Word for word.