Guest blogger Aimee Daramus asked to share her post to promote awareness of suicide prevention resources.
In the wake of the recent suicide of Sydney Aiello, a survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stone Douglas High School, another student of the school, so far unnamed in the press, has killed himself in a similar manner, with a gunshot wound to the head. This raises the possibility of a copycat suicide. It is essential to take immediate action to protect the remaining survivors, and survivors of similar traumas, to try and stop any further copycat suicides.
For anyone who feels at risk of hurting themselves or otherwise feels triggered by this, please surround yourself with the safest people you know, on and off-line, but protect yourself from any voices that are mocking you, denying your reality, or otherwise trying tome you feel that your desire to get through the schooldays safely is wrong. You don’t need those voices now; please shut them out of your life, even to the extent of letting someone you trust monitor your social media to shelter you from those influences. If you have a good therapist, get in touch immediately. Go to the hospital if you have to. There are other support resources below, to help you find support.
You can help by spreading messages and memes of support, letting people know that their lives are valued, and by checking in on anyone you know who might be at risk during this time. Make sure they know that they are important to you. If you see potentially triggering contents, please consider deleting them if you can, and letting people know that bullying trauma survivors is not acceptable. Above all, please be sensitive in how you comment on this. You don’t know who might be reading, or how it might affect them. Yes, of course you have the freedom to say what you like.Is using it to encourage someone to kill themselves the wisest use of that privilege? If you need to talk to someone that you think might be suicidal, please do so. You need to find out if they have such thoughts. If they do, you need to know if they have a plan. Try to remove anything that might be used to harm themselves. If there is immediate risk, consider calling the paramedics to the them to the hospital, but ONLY if you believe there might be immediate risk. Don’t hospitalize someone because you’re scared to have that conversation. They need their loved ones right now. Safe places with safe people are the best thing for them right now.
Here are a few resources:
Suicide prevention phone apps:
Safety Plan (the icon is a white equal-armed cross on a blue background)
Suicide Safe (from SAMSHA; this app has, among other things, links to emergency services and even a section on “conversation starters” to help you have difficult conversations about suicide)
MHFA AU (the icon is a white star on a dark green background) this Mental Health First Aid app also has tips for talking to people about suicide
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Veterans Peer Support Line: 1-877-Vet2Vet
Spanish Speaking Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDA
YOUTHLINE Teen to Teen Peer Counseling Hotline:1-877-968-8454