13 Reasons Why – Resources

To be well-informed I’m currently in the process of watching the 13 Reasons Why series on Netflix. I’m about halfway through my viewing marathon. I’ll post my honest thoughts about the series, and the debate that has followed, it in a separate post. However, in the meantime, I’ve pulled together all of talking points and references that I found while combing through one of the main discussion boards of the suicide prevention community (via American …

Continue reading

Peer Support – Part 5 – Appendix

This post presents the “number crunching” used to make the points given in the final part of the series on peer support. I thought it might make sense to look at the numbers to see an alternative perspective. I’m a stats guy. I have fun with numbers, and wanted to run through this exercise to guesstimate the size of the impact for clinical intervention given the many holes that exist before a person reaches care. Again, …

Continue reading

Peer Support – Part 5 – Opportunity

Community helpers matter

I have thus far presented a case that peer support could be considered a promising practice based on research, theory, and a solid historical background. The final step in this series is to present an argument for suicide prevention to invest in peer programs (sooner the better). Folks keep asking, “Why haven’t we made a dent in the suicide rate?” Some say that it’s because our interventions are not effective. Yet, we have studies that show …

Continue reading

peer support – part 4 – research

In prior posts I have provided a basic intro to peer support, some highlights from its history, and theories related to how it can contribute to suicide prevention. The next step is to provide research evidence that provide the foundation for describing this as a promising practice worthy of investment. Note: As described here and consistent with others, a “promising practice” is a program or other intervention that has the potential to effectively address suicidal …

Continue reading

Peer Support – part 3 – Theory

Peer support has a long history and has garnered support from many important sources, as illustrated in part 2 of this series. Connecting someone who has survived a suicidal crisis to peers is one of the core values in The Way Forward, which states: As peers, we can provide social support and a sense of community while also sharing experiential knowledge and practical advice about coping skills, serving as positive role models for others. Furthermore, …

Continue reading

Peer Support – part 2 – History

The intent of this second post is to illustrate that the concept of peer support is not new, and has a long and impressive history, which has included support from sources including SAMHSA and the U.S. Surgeon General, among others. This is not meant to be an exhaustive review of the history, but to provide a solid reference point. Highlights from the History of Peer Support   Suicide Attempt Survivors in Suicide Prevention As noted …

Continue reading

Peer Support – Part 1 – Basics

There have been questions from multiple sources about recommendations about use of peers in suicide prevention that are included in The Way Forward, released by the Suicide Attempt Survivors Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. This sparked the series of posts that will present my perspective on the topic. To begin, it seemed right to begin with some basics about what I’m referring to by “peer supports.” What is a peer? A …

Continue reading

Body, Mind, and Change

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living – Gail Sheehy Thinking about relationships a lot recently, and particularly about changes. If our mind and body are integrally connected then what applies to the body should also apply to the mind, right? [also see Holistic Medicine]. Because we know that our bodies change pretty radically over time, and to some extent we know the brain/mind does – …

Continue reading

Lessons from Autumn Trees

We should be more like trees. At least in terms of self-care. I watch the leaves lose their greens, transform into yellows and oranges and pink and red. Then they fall. Why? What next? There will be less sunshine in the Winter. Why waste the energy trying to get energy from the sun? It is better to reserve the energy at the core, the body, the roots. The rest? The branches and twigs. Some can …

Continue reading