A new way to disrupt suicide and save lives,
by amplifying the healing power of Survivors.
People who've survived their struggle with suicide are an under-utilized asset in the fight against it. They're the Survivors. When they gather and candidly tell their stories, sharing struggles and breakthroughs, they can become something profound: a lifeline for current sufferers.
The first Survivor Cadre
These videos are saving lives.
The members of the first Survivor Cadre are...
providing hope for sufferers, showing them they can survive the crisis. They're not alone.
demonstrating a new kind of courage — the courage it takes to talk.
becoming a trusted lifeline, drawing sufferers out of isolation, and giving them the confidence to admit their pain. When a sufferer hears from a Survivor who's been through what they're going through, the sufferer can see there is no stigma, no shame, in opening up and talking. And that can save their life.
providing insight into What Worked, sharing the tools and techniques that actually helped them survive suicide and get on the path to healing.
creating a new sense of belonging to a tribe, which veterans often miss.
Survivors who participated in the first virtual Survivor Cadres Roundtable
Conrad is a veteran Survivor and a former Idaho state Soldier of the Year. Because he's been through the fight with suicide, he knows what would have helped him. And he's building solutions based on that experience. In this video, you can see what it looks like when a veteran is honest about suicide.
The Problem: there's a false idea that soldiers shouldn't talk about their problems. It's a myth that kills. But Conrad believed it. So instead of talking to someone, he decided to hang himself. If he’d still been drinking, he would have done it. “I’d been sober 8 months, and that’s what saved my life.”
Candor saves lives. Soldiers and sailors don't talk when they're hurting, because they think it’ll bring stigma. It won’t. It’ll save you.
What would have helped him in his darkest moment? Mentorship. Talking to a colleague who’d wrestled with suicide (a Survivor) would have given him the opportunity to be honest about his pain. Survivors are underutilized resources. "Often, the best resources don't cost anything, and they've been under your nose the entire time... Put me out there."
Going to the gym to box meant finding a tribe again. "It really saved me."
The lesson: You cannot fix yourself alone.
You need to take action. You have to go out and reach out. You can't sit back and wait for things to happen to you.
THE ORIGIN STORY
I witnessed the power of suicide Survivors sharing their stories... and decided to amplify that power.
A recent keynote, describing the Mission and the Method.