In 2014, AAS took the historic step of approving a membership division for people who have been suicidal and their supporters. Our goal is to make sure people who've been suicidal are central to research, policy-making, public messaging, treatment and support. We're colleagues and friends.
We share real-life stories at What Happens Now?
, a blog project for AAS started in 2013.
As we become more open and confident in discussing suicidal thinking, the resources for us grow. We are encouraging and supporting people who want to step forward to share their stories and their hope.
National initiatives, here and abroad
The Way Forward: This 2014 report, with video, by the Suicide Attempt Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention has groundbreaking recommendations for supporting anyone who's been suicidal. The primary writer was our division director, Dr. DeQuincy Lezine: http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/task-force/suicide-attempt-survivors/
We highly recommend the resources listed at the end of "The Way Forward:"
Suicide Prevention Australia position statement: This helped set Australia's focus on the issue; http://suicidepreventionaust.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/SPA-SuicideAttemptSurvivors-PositionStatement.pdf
How you can help
Here's a guide: http://attemptsurvivors.com/help-out/
List of all know attempt survivor support groups: http://attemptsurvivors.com/support-groups/
Manual for Support Groups for Suicide Attempt Survivors
: This detailed guide by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in Los Angeles has been listed in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center's best practice registry.
The Center for Dignity, Recovery & Empowerment: This San Francisco organization headed by division member Eduardo Vega is pioneering a number of projects for attempt survivors, including a support group and speakers' bureau: http://dignityandrecoverycenter.org/center-programs/transforming-suicide-prevention/
Supports for families and friends
A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department: http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA08-4357/SMA08-4357.pdf
After an Attempt: The emotional impact of suicide attempts on families, by division member Heidi Bryan: http://www.heidibryan.com/uploads/After_An_Attempt_2013_booklet_download.pdf
Beyond Blue: This Australia organization has produced this guide for loved ones: http://www.beyondblue.org/au/the-facts/suicide-prevention/support-after-a-suicide-attempt
Attempt survivors in the media
We work well with the media. Contact the division director, Dr. DeQuincy Lezine, at firstname.lastname@example.org
and communications volunteer Cara Anna email@example.com
Our emergence has received some high-profile coverage. A few examples:
The New York Times: Suicide Prevention Shed a Taboo: Talking About Attempts
National Public Radio: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/07/11/330464049/suicide-attempt-survivors-seek-a-voice-in-helping-others-at-risk
The Boston Globe: http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/style/2014/04/28/suicide-attempt-survivors-speak-about-their-experiences-hoping-reach-those-risk/ffrjBg4qQPLHlvi9srqKBP/story.html
The federal government (SAMHSA) is soon to publish a booklet for attempt survivors drawing on personal interviews.
Live Through This: A national series of portraits of attempt survivors, by division member Dese'Rae Stage: livethroughthis.org
Talking About Suicide: Dozens of interviews with attempt survivors, by division member Cara Anna: http://talkingaboutsuicide.com/
"Can You Hear Me Now? New voices of attempt survivors:" A panel at the AAS conference in 2014, featuring division members Dese'Rae Stage, Samatha Nadler, Misha Kessler and Craig Miller: http://t.co/L1f9Mvim3p
Lived experience and Zero Suicide: A short video featuring researcher and division member Ursula Whiteside: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAKAKjbwzF8
Now Matters Now: A skills training program for people who've been suicidal by division member Ursula Whiteside: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV81fmuvqoI&list=UU_NQ14VoXhmabaSZ4RWgKWw
"A Voice at the Table:" A 30-minute video on attempt survivors featuring division members Craig Miller, Dese'Rae Stage and Cara Anna: http://attemptsurvivors.com/2014/05/19/watch-this-video-people/
"The S Word:" A documentary trailer on division members and attempt survivors, by an Academy Award Winning Team: http://attemptsurvivors.com/2014/06/16/to-boldly-talk-about-suicide/
TED Talks by attempt survivors: