1 ABOUT SUICIDE SPEAKING OUT Telling your story can save lives, but only if you share it safely. Sharing your story lets people know they are not alone and shows them recovery is possible. If done safely, your story will encourage people at risk to seek help. AVOID DO Be at a safe place in your recovery. Reflect on your Don’t use phrases like “commit suicide” or These phrases perpetuate own frame of mind. As a general guideline, wait at least “successful attempt.” one year after the attempt or loss before speaking. suicide’s stigma and moral judgment. Preferred terms are “ended life” or “died by suicide”. Define key messages. Your story should not simply express pain. Your goal should be to educate and Avoid details about suicide methods. Method should only be mentioned if your story would be inspire hope. incomplete to the listener without it. If mentioned, Practice. Speak slowly, and time your talk to fit into the avoid including details, since graphic descriptions overall program. can prompt copycat behaviors. Emphasize the journey. Talk Present the narrative. Don’t simplify suicide. Reducing the attempt or loss about both before and after the loss or attempt, and to a single cause fails to educate the public about the how you’ve healed since. many warning signs and risk factors that can signal an attempt. Know your audience. Consider who you will be talking to (e.g., students, clinicians, survivors) and tailor your Don’t glorify suicide. Portraying suicide as honorable remarks accordingly. or romantic can influence vulnerable individuals to view suicide as a viable option. Be honest and comprehensive. Do not focus solely on the loss or attempt. Include the full range of your Suicide is not Avoid portraying suicide as an option. experience, both the positive and the negative. a rational backup plan or coping behavior. Provide mental health resources for your audience to take home, like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or afsp.org.