Coming out as a survivor
October 23, 2015
This article provides brief accounts of what several suicide attempt survivors have experienced when they have shared publicly about being a survivor. These survivors have spoken in different venues, including on Facebook and other online forums; at a campus walk sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; for the Jed Foundation, American Suicidology Association, and other organizations; and on a panel of suicide attempt survivors for U.S. congressional staffers. All of them have similar goals of dispelling myths and reducing the stigma surrounding suicide. After hearing or reading these accounts, other people often share their stories about being suicidal. The medical director of the Jed Foundation, Victor Schwartz, works with survivors to help them provide safe messaging for the public. Said Schwartz, “[Hearing from] someone who has gotten help and is doing well, when the message is crafted in a positive way – that help is there and it makes a difference – lowers the risk. And we have good data around that.”
Spark Extra! Watch thevideo “Engaging Suicide Attempt Survivors” to learn how providers can work with attempt survivors to inform prevention planning, treatment, and education.