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…


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…


suicidal temporal relativity – why small acts matter

Reach Out. Check In. Save a Life.

According to one site, the horse-fly top speed is 145 kph (90 mph) – yes, really – but if we were that size, traveling at that speed, it would feel like 6,525 kph (4,054 mph). It would feel faster than supersonic flight. The experience of things depends on the context – size, place, and time. Time, for me, is especially interesting because of it’s relationship to suicidal thinking. One experimental research study with college students…


Suicide loss resources

It is difficult to lose someone you care about, perhaps even more so when it is by suicide. Here are a few useful sites with information you can use right away: Suicide Loss Survivors page at the American Association of Suicidology, a professional organization that focuses on suicide. Coping with Suicide Loss at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a nonprofit for education and research related to suicide. Coping with Loss (by suicide) at Suicide Awareness / Voices of…


Someone needs help right now

On behalf of your friend or family member, thank you.  It’s great to have someone who cares enough to look for help. If this is an emergency, find out their location in as much detail as possible and call 9-1-1 (in the U.S.; here’s a list for other countries). Know what to expect to make the call go as smoothly as possible. It’s okay to be scared – it’s normal.  Even after almost two decades in suicide prevention, it…


Are they thinking about suicide?

Thank you for picking up on the clues that something may be wrong.  Many times people just dismiss that feeling.  Your attention may help prevent a crisis from escalating. If you sense that something may be wrong.  Ask.  Are you thinking about suicide? or Are you thinking about killing yourself?  Research shows that asking such questions does not make people more suicidal.  It does put talking about suicide right out on the table, so always be prepared…