First things first: I want you to copy this article, print it, read it, let it become you and put it everywhere. I am serious. Put this article on the walls of your room, or in a pocket sized style in your wallet or inside your coping box. Put it everywhere. Share it, spread it, and make it accessible. Do this if not for yourself, then for someone else.
This article is all about resources available to us both on-campus and off-campus. Please, before you act on any self-harm or suicidal thought, consider these options first. It will save you a lot of regret, and may even save you entirely.
I know it is difficult to tell the truth apart from the lies that your brain may be telling you. I know I am asking a lot for you to be brave and reach out to someone. But you are worth it. You could do this alone, but it would be so much better to do it with people cheering you on. You are worthy of recovery and you can get better. This crisis will not last forever. I know it is hard and it will not come easy to you, but do it anyway; for yourself, for your loved ones, for me.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24/7 phone call away. They can be there for you, to acknowledge the pain that you are in, wherever you lie on the spectrum of a crisis. I will be writing an additional article about them and what it is like to call a hotline. If nothing else, they have been helpful to me as a stepping stone. After talking to them, I found I could reach out to someone closer to me. Their number is: 1800 273 TALK (8255). They also have an online chat service, where you put in your zip code and they ask for a name or alias and a little about your situation. They have a ‘safe space’ area on their website to watch calming videos if you experience a wait.
You can also use a text service at 741-741 by sending either “START” or “HELLO”. I would recommend trying this out beforehand in case your phone is like mine and does not support the function.
Additionally, the Counseling Center is located in Quinn Administration building, second floor, all the way down the hall past general medicine. You can check the UMB website for their office hours, and their phone number is: X. They can also be reached at an after-hours emergency phone number: Y.
One of my newest preventative measures as of the last six months has been to physically stay put when I reach crisis. This is equivalent to me sitting on my hands, a demonstration my therapist has engaged in multiple times, until I can resume my activities. In some ways, staying put helps because if I just sit there and notice the world around me, I get bored and naturally will go towards an alternative action (looking through folders at home or browsing my phone). Staying put can get tricky if I need to be somewhere thereafter–say the Counseling Center or going home.
Here are some alternatives I could engage in the next time this happens: I can tell someone what I need and be walked there, such as Craig Bidiman, a friend on campus or a professor. I can also send out a text message to friends and have them talk with me as I walk there. I could also contact Public Safety (I think) or if it’s not urgent, get in touch with the Dean of Students.
If I am at a train station and reach a crisis, it is possible for me to talk to a crisis trained MBTA officer. One time I was at South Station and needed someone to walk me to the subway (otherwise I would have bought a method), and so I asked for an officer trained in crisis and explained to them what I needed.
Additionally, when I joined Twitter in May 2017, I found a couple of Twitter accounts that are beneficial. One of them is called Project Buddy, which is a mental health awareness and suicide prevention organization that aims to spread its message across school systems.
Tiffany Lewis, founder of the Pens for Pals Organization, is also a great resource; her campaign is about suicide prevention and anti-bullying, where she and volunteers write letters to at-risk individuals worldwide either weekly or bi-weekly. She holds a radio show on Tuesday’s at 8pm EST on Clear Source Radio. I am hoping to do a full article separately on her non-profit in the future, as well as share how she has helped me in the past.
This will be article #5 in order of submission. Written 8.14 & 8.15.17
I don’t think I have much else to say! I’m scheduling this post for later this evening, it’s nearly 1p now as I’m making this. I’m going to be hanging out with Kaiden later, and I’ve got the shopping bug, but am not sure I will investigate on it.
Hope you guys are doing well!!!
Now for me to start working on I Survived Part II 🙂