Today, September 10, 2014, the World Health Organization and the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) co-sponsors World Suicide Prevention Day. To commemorate this day, the MSW@USC invites you to participate in the 100 Voices for Suicide Prevention campaign. Around the world, suicide is a major public health problem and is the leading cause of death for young people. Worldwide, nearly one million people succumb to suicide each year, a number that exceeds deaths from war and homicide combined. This year marks the 12th anniversary of World Suicide Prevention Day with the theme “One World Connected.” In honor of National Suicide Prevention Week, we hope you’ll participate in as many of these #suicideprevention events as you can.
Last year, I participated in the National Suicide Prevention Blog Carnival with the written version of my post, What If I'd Said, "Just Drive?" This year, I stepped on a stage with my fellow cast members in NW Indiana to read that same piece before a living, breathing audience for Listen to Your Mother 2014. Many of the five years of Listen to Your Mother videos deal with topics of depression, including single parenting, postpartum and suicide, with common themes of survival and hope threaded throughout, because, let's face it, as wonderful as it often is, motherhood can be hard. It can also be tears-streaming-down-your-face hilarious, as evidenced by Liesl Testwuide of Hairpin Turns Ahead and Robyn Jackson Welling of Hollow Tree Ventures reading two of my favorites. I watch them whenever I need a laugh. Many days I've sought the laughter these delightful women inspire, especially after our collective laughter stopped recently when Robin Williams lost his battle with depression, and took his own life. Don't let that happen to you. Seek and celebrate the laughter, reach out, and if you're a survivor like me, I hope you'll get involved.
For this special day of awareness and action, and for single moms everywhere, here's my video:
I find solace in my children. I find solace in getting involved in, advocating, and celebrating my local community. I find solace in reaching out and not being alone. There are many ways you can participate in what's left of today, this week, and the rest of this month. I love the #TheSemiColonProject, because it's geared to writers. This post by Denise Drespling explaining what the semi-colon means. And Denise has some great strategies for mental health wellness in her video on today's post. Follow along and Tweet your semi-colon, real or Sharpied.
National Suicide Prevention Week Schedule of Events:
Sunday, September 7, 7pm PT/10pm ET: MSW@USC’s community manager @GabyAcosta101 will serve as a special guest on the Suicide Prevention Social Media Twitter Chat #SPSM. Join her for a conversation about how we can leverage new media and virtual campaigns to raise awareness around Suicide Prevention.
Monday, September 8: Today is the 100 Voices for Suicide Prevention Kick-off! Over 45 leading voices in the suicide prevention field have contributed guest posts, podcast interviews, PSA’s, and resources to help raise awareness in honor of Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. We ask that you share this project to help promote the work that our collaborators are doing to prevent suicide in their communities.
Tuesday, September 9: Check out the “You Matter” project. This early-intervention campaign aims to to facilitate human connections in order to promote positive mental health. According to the IASP, connectedness is crucial to individuals who may be vulnerable to suicide. Studies have shown that social isolation can increase the risk of suicide and, conversely, that having strong human bonds can be protective against it. Reaching out to those who have become disconnected from others and offering them support and friendship may be a life-saving act.
Wednesday, September 10: Today is World Suicide Prevention Day! Follow the International Association of Suicide Prevention on Facebook for updates on their WSPD events.
Thursday, September 11, 6pm PT/9pm ET: @MSWatUSC will be moderating the #MacroSW tweet chat to discuss ways we can synchronize suicide prevention efforts between individuals and organizations around the country. RSVP for this event here.
Friday, September 12: Join us for a #NSPW Follow Friday! Tweet and mention individuals and organizations who you want to recognize as leaders in #suicideprevention and awareness advocacy work.
Spread the Word On Social Media:
Sample Tweet: I’m joining @MSWatUSC & 45+ experts for the 100 Voices for Suicide Prevention campaign. Read my post here: http://bit.ly/100Voices #NSPW
Sample Facebook Post: I’m joining over 45 experts in the field and USC School of Social Work for the 100 Voices for Suicide Prevention campaign. Check out my submission here: http://bit.ly/100Voices #NSPW
Sample Tweet: @MSWatUSC joins together w/ 45+ experts for the 100 Voices for #SuicidePrevention campaign. Read Now: http://bit.ly/100Voices #NSPW
Sample Facebook Post: “USC School of Social Work has built a collaboration with over 45 leading voices in the suicide prevention field who have contributed guest posts, podcast interviews, PSA’s, and resources. Share the 100 Voices Campaign to raise awareness for this critical issue: http://bit.ly/100Voices #NSPW
Keep the suicide prevention and awareness conversation going on social media using the following hashtags: #suicideprevention #NSPW #stayalive #youarenotalone #itgetsbetter #saynotosuicide #stopsuicide #unsuicide #twloha #loveislouder
Thank you for raising awareness with us!
If you or a friend are considering suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It is free and confidential.