— Tracey Pacheco Medeiros
TAUNTON, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES, October 12, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — In September, suicide loss survivor and prevention activist, Steve Palm, rented a billboard on a highway in southeastern Massachusetts to shout a powerful message across the highway: You Matter, Your Life Matters and added the new 988 hotline number.
To continue to put hope into action, Palm’s The Kacie Project is collaborating with the Bristol County (MA) Suicide Prevention Coalition, and the A Voice at the Table/Impacted Family & Friends Movement (IFF) to put a new support resource into the hands of struggling ideation and attempt survivors throughout the county and across the lifespan: the introductory first volume of what will be a series of interactive notebooks under the title: Because I Stayed https://www.amazon.com/Because-Stayed-Continued-Journey-Survivor/dp/B0C5S7Q59C – there will be 3 volumes in this first round.
Annemarie Matulis, director of the Bristol County Suicide Prevention Coalition noted that,
“This is a tangible way to connect September’s Suicide Prevention Month’s efforts with October’s Mental Health Awareness projects and particularly important considering the recent provisional CDC 2022 report on suicides in the US: Close to 50,000 people died by suicide. On average for the last few years, that represents 7% of all of those who experienced ideation or made an attempt, and the typical knee-jerk reaction will be to call for more prevention training. What about the other 93%, – those who don’t die? Where are their support resources?”
Matulis noted, “Steve has been a champion for youth suicide prevention and fundraising, and he will take the lead to coordinate the financial aspect of the campaign through the DONATE button on his website. https://thekacieproject.org/
An original member of the Impacted Family & Friends (IFF) Movement and a suicide loss survivor, Steve Palm also serves as the co-chair for the Bristol County Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Tracey Pacheco Medeiros, an attempt survivor and co-author of the Because I Stayed series, writes in Volume 1 (May 2023), “Within suicide prevention, intervention and postvention efforts, we almost never hear about what attempt survivors did differently to “stay,” to grasp onto a turning point for life. Why is that? Why don’t we in suicidology spend more time, energy, research, and funding to uncover why, how, and what we do to take suicide off the table? Why don’t we expand and increase follow-up?”
She added, “I wish I had this kind of resource when I was in school. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. The focus of our new notebooks in the Because I Stayed Series and video is to offer brief snippets of the how & why some suicide ideation & attempt survivors make a decision, suddenly or gradually, to stay & continue to work to find a life worth living.”
Matulis and Medeiros recommend that “it is well passed time for a very radical shift in response strategies on how we address supporting those who experience suicidal ideation and attempts and their impacted family and friends. Prevention training has its benefits. Equally important to recovery are the lessons learned from, and coping skills used by those who did not die, but those voices continue to be marginalized.”
“Recovery and healing can be messy, there is no, one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter, quick ‘let’s fix it’ solution.” Medeiros added.
Matulis and Medieros, both long-term activists within suicide prevention, intervention and postvention, joined forces to create wellness workshops for ideation and attempt survivors and their impacted families in 2014 with the release of their call to action documentary, A Voice at the Table. https://vimeo.com/92330799 That was 9 years ago. Developing the Because I Stayed notebook series is the obvious next expansion step for the existing programs.
On October 3rd Matulis, Medeiros & others from the Impacted Family & Friends (IFF) Movement created a new YouTube channel titled Because I Stayed to support the notebook series visually. The initial educational video weaves together the diverse lived experience voices of three more attempt survivors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rUVF8SRXNM
The goal of this campaign is to raise funds to purchase copies of the notebooks and put them into the hands of those struggling with suicidal ideation or may have already made an attempt. “We are not so arrogant to assume that the notebook series and videos are ‘the’ answer,” said Medeiros; “We should have many more culturally diverse options to offer. For now, these will offer a framework and help fill a huge gap in accessible resources.” The notebooks are appropriate across the lifespan, beginning as early as 5th grade.
If you are in Bristol County and want to help us cover the costs of distributing these notebooks to families within the county, simply go to The Kacie Project web site and click on DONATE. Please add “BIS Campaign” to your donation note. https://thekacieproject.org/ Donations are tax deductible. This distribution campaign is easy to replicate. For details, contact Annemarie Matulis at [email protected] .