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What happens when you talk openly about suicide prevention

Written by Lara

12 August: By tragic coincidence, this post was published before it was announced that Robin Williams had killed himself yesterday. Hearing of the unexpected death of someone can often trigger painful memories or emotions. If you are going through a difficult time, you are NOT alone. There is HELP. There is HOPE. If you or someone you know is struggling please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ‘1-800-273-TALK (8255)’.


Disclaimer: I read a lot of Buzzfeed.
Last week I posted about my suicide prevention fundraiser. Some things happened as a result; these things just might happen to you too if you talk openly about suicide and suicide prevention:

  • You feel like people might think you’re kind of a downer.
  • You know you’re not a downer, in the same way you know you don’t have a death wish because you like to skydive.
  • You discover people passionate about the same cause, like LaNaya Bonogofsky, who will join me raising money for suicide prevention in Wisconsin while I run in California.
  • Totally fun things happen, like Skydive Orange’s annual 50/50 horseshoe tournament, where the winner gets 1/2 of the prize money and the other 1/2 goes to a charity — this year to suicide prevention!
    • Total aside: Skydive Orange’s annual boogies are pretty epic. They routinely get voted “Best Nudity” in our annual DZ Awards voting, if you needed any convincing. This year they’re calling it the Big “O”range Boogie, with the theme “Latex, Leather, Fur or Feather” for their traditional costume party/contest, with a tailgate a/c, organizers Taya Weiss (wingsuit), Ryan Risberg (freefly & angle), Nathan Smith (freefly & angle), Lawrence De Laubadere (freefly, angle & wingsuit), Doug Barron (RW), Jim Smith (RW).
      The Big "O"range Boogie
      If you can be anywhere near central Virginia Aug. 15-17, you should definitely go. LINKS: Facebook event page & website details page.
  • People tell you about the demons they’ve fought — and defeated!
  • People tell you about the demons their loved ones fought — and lost to.
  • No one decides to go ahead with killing themselves just because you said the “S” word out loud.
  • You’re not put on the naughty list by St. Peter. Not for this, anyway — you might be on it for something else though, it’s a tough call.
  • You won’t feel like killing yourself — in fact, quite the opposite.
  • It won’t bring back anyone who’s already committed suicide.

OK, the last one is a bit of a downer, I’ll admit. It also serves as motivation to keep talking about it in the hopes that talking will help prevent future suicides.

You don’t have to go around screaming, “Don’t kill yourself!” or “I used to be suicidal but I’m not anymore ask me how!!!1” but just be open and honest with your friends and family. There’s no shame in admitting you need help, or you got help in the past, or you are available to give help now.

If you do need immediate help and don’t have someone close by to talk to, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always there, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). And we’re all here too – let’s keep talking.

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