Your story contributes to a much larger conversation and helps break down the stigma attached to the 'S' Word - suicide.
By sharing your story, you can bring hope and encouragement to others who might be going through a tough time.
Sharing your lived experience, when done appropriately and with purpose, is a powerful tool for changing attitudes and opinions, furthering education about suicide prevention, raising awareness and leaving lasting impressions that have the potential to save lives.
The most important thing to consider before choosing to share your story to help Lifeline Queensland prevent suicide is whether you’re ready.
Having a lived experience of suicide can change us quite profoundly. It is difficult to talk about suicide when it has and does impact your life so deeply.
It is important to find the balance between being able to think constructively about your experience and managing any overwhelming emotions or potential feelings of vulnerability at times.
We hope that working reading through the below will help you clarify your thoughts about becoming involved in suicide prevention, and if you decide to take that step, Lifeline Queensland is here to support you where we can.
Has it been enough time?
There is no rule book to follow on what is the right time to get involved after your experience and it is important to do what feels right for you. For some people, they are ready to become involved just months after their lived experience, while for others it can take years.
The most important consideration is your personal level of vulnerability, the support network you have in place, and your self-care rituals. Levels of vulnerability can change over time as suicidality and grief may resurface and when this happens, it is important to know that stepping back and withdrawing from suicide prevention activities at that time is the right thing to do.
We are always happy to discuss with you in more detail the different ways we utilise the stories of lived experiences and what it is like to be involved.
Remember, your involvement needs to be the right thing at the right time for you.
Questions to consider
- What impact has talking about your lived experience of suicide had on you mentally, emotionally and physically in recent times?
- Are there particular times when you know you feel more vulnerable?
- Are you aware of any particular words, conversations or anything else that can be emotional triggers for you?
- What is your energy and drive like after you discuss your experience? Does it take time to recover or is it lessening as you talk more about it?
- Are you able to speak about your experience with suicide without feeling anxious, upset or overwhelmed with grief or anger?
- Have you spoken about your desire to become involved in suicide prevention with your own support network? If yes, reflect on those conversations and possible impacts. If no, what are your thoughts on doing so?
Why are you sharing your story?
Please take a moment to look inwards and consider discussing how you feel with someone in your support network. Try not to be critical or judgmental when working through your motivation, it’s your unique experience, so there is no set rule.
Ask yourself “who is going to benefit from my involvement”? Usually you will find that you get a mix of yourself and your community benefiting from your involvement and that’s a very common outcome.
- Which motivation is the most important to you?
- Do you believe being involved in Suicide Prevention initiatives will meet your current motivation?
When becoming involved in suicide prevention, you must be prepared that people will have different perspectives on suicide. It’s a complex issue and no two experiences are the same for many different reasons. We must respect all views and accept that no one perspective is more relevant or important than the other.
Thank you for taking the time to consider how you can help prevent suicide by sharing your lived experience.
If you believe you are ready to share your story with Lifeline Queensland, please fill in the online Story Sharing form.