- I feel ready to take on a new challenge to become a suicide prevention change agent, but I’m not sure where to start.
- I would like to help be a part of the work of suicide prevention, but I don’t know what I can offer.
- I believe that my story of living through suicide loss or suicide attempts/thoughts can help others, but I’m not sure how best to tell it.
- I have a story of hope and recovery from suicide loss or suicide attempts/thoughts, but I not sure how best to leverage this story for positive cultural or systems change.
Help Me Get Started
Great! Roll up your sleeves. There is a lot of work to be done. Everyone can play a role. First, let’s do a little self-assessment on your talents, passions, and circle of influence. Where does your gladness meet the world’s sadness? Take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side list “What are my talents, skills, assets, and passions?” and on the other side list “What is most upsetting to me about suicide?” By linking up the two lists, you may have a better idea on how you are best suited to serve.
Then ask yourself: “How much capacity do I have?” And “Where is my circle of influence?” Usually, it’s better to start slowly with some trusted supporters. You can try on different roles to see what works best for you.
Once you are ready, you can review these national guidelines to get some ideas on what needs changing:
Responding to Grief, Trauma, and Distress After a Suicide: U.S. National Guidelines: http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/sites/actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/files/NationalGuidelines.pdf
You can also search for local suicide prevention programs, coalitions or task forces and ask them how you can help.