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Suicide is Complicated. So is Prevention.

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is a time when a lot of attention is placed on suicide and mental illness by news outlets and other organizations. There is typically an abundance of articles about reaching out for help if one is depressed, reaching out to help those who are depressed, and recognizing the signs that someone is suicidal.

This September – for the fifth year in a row – our “Suicide is Complicated” campaign is launching on social media.

Our intention is twofold: 


Increase public awareness of the complexities surrounding suicide and suicide prevention.


Increase support and understanding for suicide loss survivors.

We began the “Suicide is Complicated” campaign because so many members of the Alliance of Hope forum told us they were bothered by the oversimplification of the prevention messaging. Many were especially troubled by the slogan “Suicide is Preventable” as well as the emphasis on “looking for signs” that someone might be suicidal. 

Survivors empathize with the intention of the slogan, but say the blanket assertion is vastly oversimplified, and often lands like a secondary wound — leaving them feeling guilty and judged.

Suicide loss survivors have a direct and deeply personal experience with suicide that alters their perspective forever. The profound trauma of their loss, recollections of events prior to and following the suicide, and the knowledge they gain from other survivors leads them to realize the complexity of trying to prevent someone from ending their life.

Suicide is complicated.

Please consider joining us this month, on Facebook or Instagram, and sharing our posts with others, if they resonate with you. Use #suicideiscomplicated, #nationalsuicideawarenessmonth, and #allianceofhope. Together we can increase public awareness about the complexity of suicide and suicide loss.

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