Consumer advocate Pat Risser speaks about his experiences with suicidal thoughts and feelings, and the three main actions that helped him cope.

“Let somebody know that you’re hurting,” he advises, and get out in the world and find distractions (in his case, going to auto races was helpful).

Secondly, he affirms that you don’t have to act on your feelings, it’s OK to talk about them without hurting yourself.

Finally, advocacy and altruism give you a sense of purpose and self-esteem is boosted when you are helping others.

This short speech was given at the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention in Chicago, 2013, to an audience of federal suicide prevention experts. When asked what advice he would give to them, he says they are on the right path by engaging with peer advocates and suicide attempt survivors who can articulate what helps the most.