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…

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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…

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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…

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Finding support among peers

It is often helpful to meet with others who have similar experiences.  In many cases peer help can be found through support groups.  Check out: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) – for people with depression or bipolar disorder National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – for people with a mental illness and their families Attemptsurvivors.com collects information about support groups for people who have lived through a suicide attempt or suicidal crisis. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Narcotics…

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Getting help from therapy

Does talking about problems really help? Yes. Sometimes your quality of life might be lower because you tend to have strong emotional reactions, or maybe you take action without thinking carefully, or you are tend to spend a lot of time alone.  A therapist can suggest ways to control your emotions, or be calmer in stressful situations, or build a support network of trustworthy people.  If you’re at college or graduate school, then an on-campus Counseling…

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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…

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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…

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Are they at higher risk for suicide?

Maybe you’re a little concerned about someone, but you don’t think it is a crisis yet.  What should you be looking for? There has been a lot of research on what may be tied to suicide.  In research they are called “risk factors.” In general, the more risk factors someone has, the greater the chance that they may become suicidal.  The risk factors can be divided into short term and long term risk.  Long term risk can be…

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A letter for you

If YOU are in crisis right now, please read this letter If I was in your position I would find it hard to believe that somebody I didn’t know would want to talk to me.  Yet, I really do. I wish I knew your name so that I could make this more personal.  I wish I could be there with you right now so that you could see the sincerity in my tear-filled eyes as…

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Suicide – not so fast.

If you would like to read what others have to say about some things to think about when you’re in a suicidal crisis, check out Suicide: Read This First. There’s no reason to do something drastic right away.  Why not take a few moments to listen to some other perspectives?  Some people have lived through a suicidal crisis and decided to share their stories with you. The wonderful sites Talking About Suicide, Live Through This, and…

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