'I Survived a Suicide Attempt'

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This is powerful.

BuzzFeed recently interviewed four suicide attempt survivors in a moving video. Each spoke about the challenges they faced that led them to attempt to take their own lives, and then about the ways they’ve learned to cope since then.

It gets better,” one of the interviewees, whose name isn’t shared, says in the video below. “You are worth life. You are worth living. You are worth breathing.”

In the comments section below the video, other suicide attempt survivors chimed in to share their stories and to show solidarity.

“It’s the best thing to choose to be alive when you realize you could’ve lost it all by one attempt,” Christine Ann Basile wrote in the comments. “To those who are still trying to survive, just know there’s more to life. I’m a survivor too.”

I’m a suicide attempt survivor,” Siseneg Yanimir Berríos wrote. “I’m still trying to survive. But I’ve done it before and I will conquer this again. It will not win.”

Watch the BuzzFeed video below:

 

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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5 Myths About Suicide That Need to Be Challenged

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As we near the end of National Suicide Prevention Month, it’s important that we not only continue to talk about suicide, but also dispel some common misinformation surrounding it. The more we understand about suicide the less taboo it will become, and the more we can do for individuals who are at risk. In my work with the Centre for Suicide Prevention in Alberta, Canada, here are some common myths I hear and why it’s important to know the truth.

1. Myth: People who talk about suicide should not be taken seriously.

Fact: The American Association of Suicidology lists suicidal talk as a major warning sign for suicidal risk. This myth is dangerous because it suggests those who talk about suicide are just trying to get attention. Suicidal behavior should always be taken seriously. Suicidal talk often begins with suicidal thoughts which can escalate to suicidal acts such as attempted suicide if the appropriate interventions are not made.

2. Myth: Children do not die by suicide.

Fact: It is widely believed children are incapable of dying by suicide because they lack the mental development necessary to carry out such an act. This isn’t true – although there are few studies on the matter because it’s not perceived as a problem. We need to acknowledge that children are capable of suicide.

3. Myth: Talking to youth about suicide will increase suicidal behavior.

Fact: On the contrary, talking about suicide with someone who may be suicidal reduces the risk they may attempt. They should be asked directly if they are having suicidal thoughts or have a plan in place. It’s been shown when people at risk are given the opportunity to talk in therapy, their threat to carry through with suicide diminishes. 

4. Myth: Once someone has attempted suicide, they will not attempt again.

Fact: People who have attempted in the past have a much higher risk of a future attempt. The chief predictor of a future suicide is a past attempt. About 20 percent of people who die by suicide have made a prior suicide attempt. It’s particularly a harmful myth when studied in a health care setting. Sometimes health care workers view attempters as attention seekers instead of people at risk of dying. An emphasis needs to be placed on getting those who have attempted suicide the mental health attention they require.

5. Myth: The suicide rate is highest around December holidays. 

Fact: This is not true. In fact, the rate peaks in early spring. Some believe the holiday season can be a protective factor for those at risk. Dr. Thomas Joiner, a psychologist whose research focuses on suicide, calls it a “time of togetherness” that can lessen the chances of suicide. We should engage in open and honest conversations about suicide no matter what the season.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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The Badass Way These Australian Bikers Are Bringing Suicide Awareness to the U.S.

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For Steve Andrews, founder of Black Dog Rider, it all started after his best friend’s wife took her own life.

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Steve Andrews photo: Sensis®

This wasn’t the first time his life had been touched by suicide — his own mother died by suicide years before. Andrews hadn’t known his mother was depressed until finding letters she’d written before her death. Similarly, his best friend Jack Michael’s wife Anna had kept quiet about her depression.

“There was all this depression, and the resulting suicides, and it wasn’t being discussed openly,” Andrews told The Mighty.

Feeling inspired to take action, he organized a solo motocycle ride across Australia. He stopped across the country to talk about depression and suicide and raised $34,000 for the Suicide Call Back Service. Word spread, more people wanted to join him, and Andrews, naming his efforts the Black Dog Ride, turned the project into a national suicide prevention charity.

Since that first ride in 2009, Andrews has organized 73 Black Dog Rides, raising a total of over $1,700,000 for mental health services nationwide, according to its website.

Now they’re bringing the ride and the conversation to America.

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The ride kicks off in NYC

The group of 65 bikers, who left from New York City on Sunday, Sept. 13, are making their way to Los Angeles, tracking 4,350 miles in 21 days. According to its website, the group hopes to specifically engage American military veterans and first responders.

“The motorcyles create interest,” Andrews told The Mighty. “People see a group of bikes roll into town and they want to know what we’re about. Everywhere we go people talk to us.” 

The ride also creates a safe space for the bikers involved, many of whom have a connection to suicide and depression, Andrews said.

“It’s amazing how many people have a connection to a cause,” Andrews said. “They look big and tough and bulletproof, but you give them a safe zone and they just open up.”

On the group’s Facebook page, Black Dog Rider Anny Seaton explains why she joined, opening up about her own experiences with depression.

It gives me a choice,” she says. “I can spend a day or four in bed or spend four or more riding. That is a far better option.”

Black Dog Rider Anny Seaton experienced the pain of depression first-hand after developing symptoms when side effects of...

Posted by Black Dog Ride on Tuesday, 15 September 2015

 

You can follow the riders using their itenerary and also on their Facebook page. The proceeds raised from this ride will go to Mental Health First Aid USA, providing scholarships for first responders and veterans to be trained in Mental Health First Aid, helping communities respond to mental health crises. Donations can be made here. 

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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The (Literally) Sweet Way Bakers Honored Robin Williams on Suicide Prevention Day

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For those with a sweet tooth and a love for Robin Williams, a group of bakers crafted the perfect tribute for World Suicide Prevention Day.

Organized by bakers Jane Reyes, Laura Lynch and Mary Menkevich, the cake collaboration, called Legacy of Laughter, honors the life of Williams and the many characters he played — through incredibly designed cakes. 

“Robin’s death touched a lot of people,” Menkevich told The Mighty. “He was such a wonderful and colorful character.”

The pictures of the cakes were posted on the project’s Facebook page but also have a home on Depressed Cake Shop, a pop-up shop that sells baked goods for various mental health causes. Some bakers had personal stories connecting them to depression and suicide.

Robin showed us all that depression is something that the most unlikely people can be affected by,” baker Tanya Ross, whose cake depicted Williams as Teddy Roosevelt in “Night at the Museum,” said in her statement. “Robin, you selflessly fought through your own demons to bring happiness and laughter to so many. You put us first and shared your talent and joie de vivre while holding nothing back for yourself. Stars can’t shine without darkness…. And your star will continue to shine for us all.”

cake of robin williams in night at the museum

I wanted to create Ramon as a mosaic tile because I imagine Robin Williams must have felt a bit broken and pieced together. I wanted to reflect that but at the same time I wanted to show how beautiful the big picture can be,” said baker Zawadi Parizek, who depicted Williams as Ramon from “Happy Feet.”

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My suffering from anxiety and depression is what lead me to cake decorating in the first place…Hopefully this collaboration will help someone reach out before they are too lost,” Mary Tomczak said in her statement. Her cake shows Williams in “What Dreams May Come.”

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“When I learned of his death my heart broke. When I learned he took his own life I sat with my head in my hands and I cried and cried,” said Jenifer Kennedy, who recreated Williams’ role in “Dead Poet’s Society.” “I wished I could have been there to tell him how much he touched my life.”

Check out more from the project below: 

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robin williams dessert

robin williams dessert

robin williams dessert

robin williams dessert

robin williams dessert

robin williams dessert

robin williams dessert

robin williams dessert

Related: Why These Depressed Cookies Are Good for Mental Health

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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Powerful Moment Captured Between Man Contemplating Suicide and a Police Officer

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Just after 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 9, police in Raleigh, North Carolina, got a call about a man who appeared to be contemplating taking his life, ABC News reported.

Officer Dan Hicks arrived on the scene to find a man sitting on the ledge of a bridge on the Beltline over Wade Avenue. Hicks spent time talking to the man and was eventually able to persuade him to come back over from the ledge.

Then, once the man was standing on the highway, he embraced the officer. They stood there in a long hug before Hicks walked him back to a car.

This powerful moment happened just the day before World Suicide Prevention Day, on September 10. It’s a great reminder of the need for heightened suicide prevention and awareness, and of the power of a little human kindness.

Watch the video below for more on the story: 

 

h/t Reddit Uplifting

Related: 18 Messages for Those Who’ve Lost a Loved One to Suicide

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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What We Learned From Today's Suicide Prevention Twitter Chat

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On Tuesday, Twitter refused to be quiet about suicide. In honor of National Suicide Prevention Week, mental health advocates and organizations — including Mental Health America and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention — joined Stamp Out Stigma in a Twitter chat, covering topics like the warning signs of suicide and how the media should report on suicide.

In case you missed it, here are some important lessons we learned:

On the warning signs of suicide:

On starting the conversation with someone who exhibits these warning signs:

On ways you can help someone who’s talking about suicide: 

On the best way for the media and the general public to talk and write about suicide:

On how can schools and communities work together to prevent suicide: 

On resources that could help educate people about suicide prevention:

Thanks to everyone who’s speaking up — let’s keep the conversation going.

Related: 7 Easy but Important Ways to Participate in National Suicide Prevention Week

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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