The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, best known for its suicide prevention hotline (1-800-273-TALK), has launched the Lifeline Gallery, where avatars discuss suicide prevention and their experiences coping with suicide among family or friends.
“The media frequently reports tragic stories of suicide and rarely tells the stories of those who have found ways to cope with suicide loss or found a reason for living after a suicide attempt,” says Dr. [John] Draper, [Project Director]. “If someone is struggling with thoughts of suicide or experiencing the pain of losing a loved one, we encourage them to look at Lifeline Gallery and discover that they’re not alone. We also encourage them to express their feelings about suicide in a non-threatening environment where they can create an animated image of themselves and share their story. Their story can help us all spread the word that suicide is preventable and affects us all.”
I spent some time viewing the stories on the site. I like this application of avatars and found the videos to be informative and helpful without being too painful to watch. I like Dr. Draper’s focus on prevention and coping.
Very few of the stories are from men. That’s a real shortcoming that I hope is remedied soon. It would also be great to have more stories from people who have considered or attempted suicide and have recovered. All of the stories in that section so far are from women. The introduction to that section is well done –guiding contributors on how to produce useful stories rather than one’s that inadvertently encourage suicides.
Since the site allows users to create their own stories I hope that many more will do so.
The project is funded by Simpsons’ producer James L. Brooks.June 25, 2008