Help Change the Conversation about Suicide!

By Amanda Rowan on November 5, 2015

Every 13 minutes there is a suicide in the United States. 

In the next 13 minutes you can help change that.

Suicide Assessment and Management, Change the Conversation About SuicideLast year my friend, Michelle, a fellow therapist who had attended my workshop "The Phenomenology of Suicide", connected me with Lisa Klein, a film maker who is working to change the conversation about suicide through her new documentary "The S Word".  Lisa and I share an interest in educating people about suicide and improving our response to people who are suffering so much they want to end their lives.

In 2016, the Therapist Development Center will be launching a comprehensive CEU training in Suicide Assessment and Management developed with Dr. Shawn Christopher Shea, MD., an expert in suicide assessment.

In the meantime, TDC is supporting the "S" Project and you can, too.

Please join me in supporting The S Word Kicktstarter Campaign! 

For every $ you give the kickstarter campaign up to $50, TDC will give you a matching credit plus $10!  This will be good on any test prep or CEU course. 

So give $50 and you'll get a $60 Credit.  Just forward us your receipt.  But time is limited.

The kickstarter campaign ends November 15th.

Here's a little about Lisa:

Lisa co-directed OF TWO MINDS (2012), a journey into the lives of remarkable people living, struggling, and triumphing with bipolar disorder. OTM won a SAMHSA VOICE Award and an EIC Prism Award, the most significant awards for a mental health documentary, and has been seen by sold out audiences at screenings across the country including universities and mental health organizations, as well as becoming a top documentary on Netflix. Lisa co-owns MadPix, Inc., an independent production company in Los Angeles, with her husband Doug Blush.

And a message from Lisa about the movie:

My name is Lisa Klein and I am currently directing a documentary called The S Word. Try telling someone you're making a film about suicide and see what their reaction is. Not an easy pitch, to say the least.

As a survivor of both my father's and brother’s suicides, I have wrestled with the guilt, shame, and confusion for years. I will never know why my dad ended his life. Nobody talked about my brother Keith. My mother could never bring herself to say the words, “My son killed himself.” Words that no mother should have to say. Ever.

That was my impetus for making the film - I wanted to tell the stories of people who have lost loved ones to suicide because it’s crucial to both stay connected and be able talk about suicide without shame or judgment. I didn’t come easily to this realization - the word suicide was not spoken in our house - it was the confused and traumatized ghost that lingered in the walls.

I’ve since learned that speaking the word itself is not the problem. The silence that so often surrounds it is. I think my 19-year-old self would have begged Keith to stay - and told him all the reasons why he should. But, I probably would not have asked him if he was thinking about suicide or if he had a plan. I wouldn’t have told him that it was okay to not be okay. I would have just wanted to fix the problem because that’s all I knew. What I’m left with now is retrospect and “If I knew then what I know now my brother would be alive.” Maybe - I can’t ever know that.

We all have the power to save lives and it is our collective responsibility to build an environment of empathy and acceptance, stripping away the shame and discrimination that has been the breeding ground of suicide for far too long.

So now, I am going to say the word suicide - shout it if I have to - because the silence continues to kill people every day. Until very recently, first person narratives of people who have been suicidal were largely missing from this conversation - and that makes no sense. The S Word will give voice to those who have not only survived, but have courageously transformed their personal struggles into strength and action. From these stories will emerge a mosaic of the humanity that encompasses life, love, humor, triumph and survival. Good days. Bad days.

So, when somebody asks me “Why suicide? Isn’t that topic depressing?” My answer is very clear: “There is nothing depressing about working to prevent the kind of suffering that so many families have endured. The most depressing thing would be to remain silent.” And not do this movie.

Take a look:

Lisa Klein, Director

The S Word Documentary

Twitter & Instagram: @Suidoc














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