All Posts Tagged ‘peer support

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‘There’s such a need for this’

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This week, the Canadian activist who tweets at @unsuicide takes us on a tour through the online world of crisis response, where the suicide awareness establishment acknowledges it’s still largely clueless. In the conversation ahead: social media suicide hoaxes, what Twitter does wrong, the need for transparency, why hotlines are outdated, why trained peers are crucial, and how to walk the oh-so-careful law enforcement line between tracking people down for help and scaring them away.

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‘If the people within our field can’t bear to stand up …’

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The push to give suicide attempt survivors more of a voice might actually be working.

While the Live Through This portrait project takes off with mentions by Brain Pickings, PostSecret and Upworthy, one national suicide prevention group has pointed out the trend and asked for more.

“Two examples of efforts to provide forums for survivors of suicide attempts are Live Through This and What Happens Now?” Suicide Prevention Resource Center director Jerry Reed wrote earlier this month. “We need to expand efforts to encourage and support attempt survivors in bringing their expertise to the struggle against suicide,” including through peer support networks.

That call for more peer support _ for more people who’ve had suicidal thoughts or actions using that experience to help others _is more significant than you might think. Here’s why: The suicide prevention and mental health fields already have plenty of peers, many more than we know. Many of them just don’t feel comfortable identifying themselves.

Stigma? Among the very people who should know better? Oh, yes.