Dese'rae L. Stage: Live Through This
Suicide is a dirty word. It happens only to the weak, cowardly, sinful, or selfish among us—or so we've been told. The truth is that suicide is none of those things. Suicide does not discriminate. The truth is that it's the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. The truth is that it kills 121.1 Americans every day, and over 44,193 of us every year.
Live Through This is a series of portraits and true stories of suicide attempt survivors nationwide whose identities span a large breadth of background, ethnicity, faith, gender presentation, sexual orientation, profession, age, and experience. Any one of these survivors could be your mom, a coworker, your partner, your best friend. Live Through This asks you to look into the eyes of survivors and find yourself in them. It asks you to walk a mile in their shoes before casting judgment: what would it take to make you want to take your own life?
The ways we talk and think about suicide are dangerous and discriminatory. By participating in Live Through This, survivors take a stand: suicide is not shameful. It happens to the best of us, and we each have the power to save a life simply by being open enough to talk about it. The stories and experiences shared in Live Through This can inform and guide productive change in societal perception of suicide, and within the mental health system.
Our stories can save lives. You are not alone. Please stay.