For Veterans Day today, here is our interview with Army veteran Ted Spencer about his experience as part of a pioneering support group for suicide attempt survivors. A founding member of this site, researcher Stephen O’Connor, helped us connect.
Suicide in the military and among veterans is a huge issue. A growing number of people who’ve survived attempts or suicidal thinking are talking about it openly, as this recent series in The Huffington Post shows so well.
As they do, they’re giving the public a vivid idea of what works _ and doesn’t _ in looking for help.
A quick note to begin: This blog was part of a live segment by The Huffington Post last week, along with three attempt survivors and a handful of sites on the topic. You can watch it here and explore the resources linked under the video.
This week’s story is about someone who worked for years in suicide prevention, knew and preached the coping skills and still ended up trying to kill herself. Natalie De Stefano wrote to us last month, and her story leapt off the page.
Imagine having a migraine, or living on the brink of one, for 20 years. And finding no medications that help. And being told, “Hang on ’til after menopause.” Natalie tried. As she counseled suicidal veterans as a case manager, she wore sunglasses and kept her pills nearby. She loves her work, And then last year, the pain got worse. She began having migraines every day, with nausea and vomiting. After her attempt, she was in a coma for more than a week. She woke up angry.