Prevent Suicide Save Lives
Organized by: Bryan Danforth
Bryan Danforth via Crowdrise
October 13, 2015
Effective suicide prevention and awareness requires not only a personal, compassionate involvement and outreach, but a well thought out detailed, robust and organized approach that simultaneously educates the public and provides support to those at risk in a concerted, methodical and caring way.
This campaign is a way for you and others with a strong sense of social justice, compassion and a desire to be part of an organized effort to help end one of the saddest, darkest and loneliest scourges of life in current day.
The goals of this campaign, are to define a unique approach to suicide prevention and loss of the world’s most valuable natural resource, youth and those at risk of suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among American youth. We need to do what we can to prevent the devastation of suicide to families and others. In addition, this campaign will provide a compassionate commitment to the value of life. This campaign will provide a belief in the effectiveness of evidence-based suicide prevention strategies. There will be a dedication to removing public stigma about suicide and a conviction that accurate information and education about suicide can save lives. There will be programs to train teachers to work with youths at risk of suicide and identify those who maybe. Outreach will be set up through LGBT organizations to those who may be at a greater risk of suicide resulting external pressures because of who they are, despite having moved significantly forward in this area, much more work needs to be done.
I will conduct events, training and educational opportunities based on a prototype that accomplishes the goals of this campaign in parallel with raising funds and community consciousness. Funds raised through this and other subsequent campaigns will lend support to these initial efforts to launch what will serve as a strategic anti-suicide programming designed to scale and apply to the same outreach and education throughout the world.
Through my efforts I will build a knowledgeable and experienced outreach staff that will support me in this undertaking. The result of this important program is planned to be the framework and planning for an international program to help youth in particular, and all those at risk of suicide, wherever they may be – in veterans or other hospitals, schools, those behind bars, or in community health centers, or elsewhere, the LGBT community, youth affected by bullying, anywhere in society.
I am looking for support through financial contributions, and if you are unable to provide financial support, in reading this you will share awareness of mental health illness and suicide. I need funds to launch and expand this campaign and do all the things that need to be done through education, events, training and ultimately hiring team members through this and subsequent campaigns and at times funding families who because of a loved one fighting mental illness are strained financially, or can't get the medical support they need.
Help me have the ability to create an international network of staff and volunteers to help those at risk and most vulnerable.
My own personal experiences, having been diagnosed with manic depression (Bipolar) sixteen years ago, survived several suicide attempts, placed in a locked facility, coped with being sexually abused by a priest and all the ripple effects thereof and the crippling effect it can have on one's life's journey, destruction of my professional career and resulting family struggles, fuels my empathy and my indefatigable drive to make this program successful.
My path lead me to a decision to save myself and others in unique and effective way that others like me can apply throughout the country and the world.
I want to tell my story to help others. Telling my story is the way I survive, sharing and caring. I had two choices, one, I would commit suicide, the personal destruction and pain I caused my family and others was to great, retreating to that dark place where I would cause no further pain to my self, family or others, or I would live to tell my story, to help others in that dark and desperate place. That is what I have chosen to do. I have overcome my struggles; I have survived and thrived. I can help others do the same.
Reach out, everyone has something to give, help everyone in realizing that.
Suicide is rarely spontaneous. We go out of our way to act as though nothing is wrong, remain engaged. If asked if we are contemplating suicide, we will say no to hide what is going on inside of us. We live with suicide as a viable option, unlike those who do not suffer from depression.
You have to find worth in the worthlessness. You have to find hope in the hopelessness. Try to make a difference in one person's life. I have in my own life, I can in other’s lives, help me do so.
Suicide can be prevented and the strategy is not easy. Human engagement and communication, the outreach by those who know the demons that plague those considering suicide, and programs and a support community that illuminates a path toward hope – these are the most important aspects of the program that will be the output of this campaign. Talk to those who seem to be struggling. Maybe you are the one who will release their demons and allow them to live, move forward and fulfill their dreams.
If you can reach even one person through whatever means, and save one life, it will be worth it. From my own experience, you never forget.
People who care will comprise the resources that will help to build and expand this program as it takes form in the coming year. My program team and I will speak and connect with those who are struggling and help identify those who exhibit the early signs that we who have been there know all to well. You and people like you who care about others in desperate need of a helping hand, a soft shoulder, an ear open to listening, a kind word, and a tiny glimmer hope of the future will help literally save lives by funding this campaign.
My goal is to provide that magical, miraculous connection that literally pulls those about to attempt suicide from the jaws of death – are you up to be a superhero for someone who desperately needs one? I am – and hope you will join the fight with others like me to whom this matters.
I want to help others through education, training, organizing walks, runs, awareness seminars, talks, becoming involved in outpatient services from hospitals, schools, LGBT and other community organizations, reaching out to those who have been through what I have been through. Let them know there is hope, people care, there is another door to walk through and not end their life in despair, darkness, a place that no one should have to experience, I know, I was there. I have come out on the other side and can share my story and the resources that I developed to help others.
If you agree that one lost life is one too many, take this opportunity to change the world.