“It’s no longer dark”: Suicide attempt survivors share messages of hope

August 14, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


Some survivors of suicide attempts who have recovered from their suicidal thinking are seeking ways to help others by sharing their own stories, and are an increasingly important voice in the field of suicide prevention. Craig Miller, author of the memoir This Is How It Feels, facilitates a support group for suicide attempt survivors and speaks publicly about his long recovery from childhood trauma and depression. Mary Rohman, also a childhood trauma survivor, benefited from medication, therapy, and the positive reinforcement of serving as a mental health peer coach to recover from being suicidal. In recent years, suicide prevention organizations have become more welcoming to those with “lived experience” of suicidality. Debbie Helms, director of the Merrimack Valley, MA chapter of suicide prevention organization Samaritans, described the shift: “I think the fear was that [suicide attempt survivors] might still be at risk, would they be safe talking about it with people… And I think enough has been done so far to say they have a very, very good voice at the table. They have that information that everybody else needs to get on board with policymaking and trying to get more resources out there.”

Spark Extra! Read the report The Way Forward: Pathways to Hope, Recovery, and Wellness with Insights from Lived Experience.