We’re taking a break for August, since it’s holiday season. We leave you with this update from Australia, where Suicide Prevention Australia recently held a Lived Experience Symposium that brought together attempt survivors and loss survivors to create a national manifesto that will be available for public comment later this month. Until then, here’s more about it. And for more about Mic Eales, the artist featured in the video above, there’s this. And here’s his beautiful PhD thesis.
Five years ago, Suicide Prevention Australia published the kind of confidence-builder that the new #WayForward report demands of U.S. mental health organizations: A statement of support for attempt survivors and others who’ve been suicidal. The Australian statement is here.
Organizations in the U.S. and elsewhere, your turn.
Before turning today’s post over to contributor GC, who writes forcefully but anonymously because of family concerns, here’s an example of how some of us are taking the silence around suicide and shoving it aside.
Last week, I walked into a Brooklyn bar where several people who had attempted suicide had gathered to celebrate a unique project, Live Through This. New York photographer Dese’Rae Stage is taking a series of portraits of attempt survivors just moments after they tell her their stories, and now she’s raising money to take the project national and visit other cities. There’s no anonymity. Everyone shares their real names. One person involved is Kevin Hines, who’s well-known for speaking publicly about his attempt and recovery. In his portrait, he looks totally at ease, smiling.
Other beautiful portraits lined the walls of the candlelit bar, and in the young, impossibly cool crowd I could barely pick out Dese’Rae’s mingling subjects from anyone else.