This week’s post is by DeQuincy Lezine, and if you think you’ve been advocating for attempt survivors for quite some time, get ready for a jolt. DeQuincy is the first director of the American Association of Suicidology‘s newly created Lived Experience division for people who’ve been suicidal and the people who love and support them. He also wrote the groundbreaking #WayForward national report that comes out in early July. It inspired the video above. More details coming soon.
Here’s the very short version of my suicide prevention autobiography:
I got started as a first-year student in college, after my first suicide attempts, by contacting the Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network. I found no other attempt survivors in the national suicide prevention movement. That was 18 years ago.
The best way to keep up with happenings between these weekly posts is following us on Twitter at @AboutSuicide. Also, interviews are posted regularly on sister site Talking About Suicide and at the fabulous Live Through This.
This week’s post is by Mary Esther Rohman:
My name is Mary Esther Rohman, and this is my first blog. Someone once stopped me from taking my life by telling me his story, and I was encouraged to start giving back. Much has been given to me.
My name is Lisa Klein, and I am a documentary filmmaker. A documentary filmmaker who has never written a blog entry before today. The ones I’ve been asked to write never seemed as urgent as this one.
This week’s essay is by Megan Cotrell, a 23-year-old who works for two crisis hotlines in Ohio, is a field advocate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and is applying to graduate school with the goal of being an advocate in the public policy field. “I’m really inspired by so many people sharing their experiences,” she writes.
First, quite a bit of news, starting with this change of heart by a psychologist who recently wondered whether disclosing was harmful for attempt survivors. Now he sees “a potential bonanza of therapeutic benefit.” Here are powerful new pieces by Leah Harris and Dese’Rae Stage. Sue Martin brings a strong new voice to the Veterans Administration. And Marie Claire Australia’s new issue has a beautiful story about attempt survivors that mentions this site, though it’s not available online.
Finally, anyone with interest in support groups for attempt survivors should check out this webinar tomorrow via the Mental Health Commission of Canada. It features a pioneering program, Skills for Safer Living.
A few days after making a wonderful speech at the American Association of Suicidology conference in April, an “out” attempt survivor was abruptly fired from their job at a crisis center. After five years of promotions and no disciplinary actions, the person was told their “skill set” no longer fit and was escorted from the building.
This was outrageous, and it made us wonder whether crisis centers across the U.S. value lived experience of suicidal thinking.