This week’s post is by activist and writer Laura Delano, who first published this in a longer version last fall at Mad in America and gave us permission to post it here.
First, two links: JD Schramm, whose TED Talk on being an attempt survivor opened an important public conversation, posted his “real advice” this month on recovering from an attempt. And this petition by attempt survivor and activist Sandra Kiume, or @unsuicide, asks the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to address the confusion around the term “suicide survivor.” Here’s Laura:
I am alive today in the most intense, sometimes painful, always beautiful of ways, and one of the many reasons I credit for my life is this: I am a failed product of “Suicide Prevention.”
This week’s post is by Emily Lupsor. She’s a mental health advocate in North Carolina, where she’s pursuing her masters in social work. Her research interests include measuring and facilitating growth in attempt survivors, and she hopes to establish a peer-run support group in the Charlotte area with several community partners.
I can’t pinpoint the age at which my challenges with mental wellness began. Was it the tearful, sweaty-palmed anxiety of childhood? The numb apathy of my high school years? My first major depressive episode of college? I have always been a Sensitive Person and spent most of my life assuming that I would die by my own hand.
2013 was a groundbreaking year for suicide attempt survivors. For the first time, we were not a tiny scattering of isolated people daring to tell our stories, but a quickly growing group of people who found each other through new national projects and agreed that more must be done.
Here are a few achievements, and then we look to the year ahead: