Stay In The Picture
The picture is the Mona Lisa, but it could be any picture conjuring up a world without you. A world lacking your presence and your beauty. A tragically direct image begging you and the other human ‘masterpieces’ of our life to remain with us – to stay in the picture.
By design, it is a jarring message. It captures one’s attention in an overstimulated world. It draws one in and invites you, in a moment of crisis, to call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. As California’s second-largest suicide prevention crisis center, we wanted to take a moment to share that important message with you. In turn, we hope you will spread the word at work, at home, and in the places where your life happens. Stay in the picture!
We appreciate that these types of conversations can be difficult. To help you, we are passing on some simple evidence-based tactics our national partners have developed. The campaign is referred to as “Be The One Too” or #BeThe1To, which helps spread the word about actions we can all take to prevent suicide, promote healing, and give hope.
Ask: Ask after someone in a caring way. Research shows people who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks shows caring. And acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.
Be There: Listen without judgment, it helps people feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful.
Keep Them Safe. Making lethal means less available or less deadly decreases suicide rates by that method. It can even make overall suicide rates decline.
Help Them Stay Connected: Helping someone at risk create a network of resources and individuals for support and safety can help them take positive action and reduce feelings of hopelessness.
Follow Up: Supportive ongoing contact is an important part of suicide prevention, especially for individuals after they have been discharged from hospitals or care services.
If a conversation or situation stretches beyond your comfort, there is 24/7 help for you through our Crisis Center.
I trust these resources. They are the places I direct people in emergent situations. Trained Crisis Counselors are ready to help you or the people you care about. Together, we can prevent suicide and save lives. As Dr. Liseanne Wick, our Director of Suicide Prevention likes to say, “Hope Starts Here.”