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Suicide Prevention Sheds a Longstanding Taboo: Talking About Attempts

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According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), suicide was the tenth leading cause of death for all ages in 2010. Project Return Peer Support Network was part of a coordinated social media campaign at the 47th Annual Conference of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), which registered over 7.6 million Twitter hits. During the conference the AAS Board voted to recognize a historically invisible portion of its membership: people who have tried to kill themselves and survived. Organizations like LiveThroughThis.org are sharing stories and images of suicide survivors in an effort to help people cope and connect with others.

The April 13, 2014 New York Times examines this trend, quoting mental health leaders and PRPSN partners. Read the full story below:


Suicide Prevention Sheds a Longstanding Taboo: Talking About Attempts

By BENEDICT CAREY - APRIL 13, 2014   

The relationship had become intolerably abusive, and after a stinging phone call one night, it seemed there was only one way to end the pain. Enough wine and pills should do the job — and would have, except that paramedics barged through the door, alerted by her lover.

"I very rarely tell the story in detail publicly, it's so triggering and sensational," said Dese'Rae L. Stage, 30, a photographer and writer living in Brooklyn who tried to kill herself in 2006. "I talk about what led up to it, how helpless I felt — and what came after."

Read more...
 
15th Annual Hope & Recovery Conference (English)

HR Conference FlyerThe Los Angeles Department of Mental Health presents the 15th Annual Hope and Recovery Conference (in English) on Tuesday, April 29th 2014 from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the Almansor Court Banquet Facility - 700 S. Almansor St., Alhambra, CA 91801

Celebrating New Possibilities on the Horizon - Building Wellness Together is the conference created by and for clients of the Los Angeles mental health system. The conference free to clients, family members, parents and caregivers 18 years and older.

Registration is required and capacity is limted! 

Download a flyer and the fillable pdf registration form today!

For more information please call Treva Blackwell (213) 738-3783 or Keianna Crenshaw (213) 739-6335

 
Strength Based Approaches to Community Healing

From: Clinical Psychiatry News - February 21, 2014

Strength Based Approaches to Community Healing

By: Keris Jän Myrick M.B.A., M.S. & Annelle B. Primm, M.D., M.P.H

RTEmagicC knh5ydx6 Myrick Keris Jan CA.jpgRTEmagicC Primm Annelle B DC.jpgIn the fall of 2007, a rather quirky independent film was released that to this day has a small but dedicated following: "Lars and the Real Girl."

The movie is fictional, yet it provides an exquisite example of the power of community inclusion for healing not only of the lead character, Lars Lindstrom, but also for the family, health professional, and community as a whole.

 The movie's premise rests on shy and awkward Lars and his need for a deep loving relationship, which results in the introduction of his new girlfriend Bianca – a life-size "blow-up" doll he purchased from the Internet. The local family doctor, who also has a background in psychology, declares that Lars has a delusion, and the best remedy is for all to accept his delusion as it serves a purpose and will end when Lars resolves the "purpose." The family, community, coworkers, and the church parishioners are challenged to accept not only Lars, but also Bianca.

Many people diagnosed with serious mental illnesses struggle with this very issue of social inclusion, developing and maintaining relationships, and overall social connectedness, which often leads to loneliness and isolation. Symptoms, public judgments, and stigma contribute to the deep isolation and fears of social situations for people with mental illnesses. Recovery or healing from mental illness, therefore, should move beyond a focus on symptom reduction alone and must include social rehabilitation, family education, housing, and employment support. Through the recovery process, feelings of awkwardness, fear, and being judged are reduced by the fundamental things that give meaning and purpose to people's lives – of which social interaction is a critical component.

Recovery, then, requires a person-centered approach, which simply means moving from symptom reduction alone to giving priority to people's goals, and what gives meaning and purpose to their lives. As such, people receiving services for mental illness might not articulate that reducing symptoms will give their life meaning and purpose, yet, may identify dating, improving relationships with family, and securing housing or employment as their goals. A focus on goals, which gives people a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, yields an increase in motivation and engagement, and enhances the quality of the therapeutic alliance and relationship with mental health professionals, thereby increasing the possibility of symptom reduction.

How, though, can a psychiatrist, a social worker, psychologist, or peer provider working alone or in silos, succeed in meeting this complex set of needs for the people they serve, especially when moving from a narrow concentration on symptom reduction to a broader and more holistic focus on helping those with mental illness achieve a sense of meaning and purpose in life?

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Tools for Change 2014

Center logoWe were very excited to participate in the 2014 Tools for Change conference, March 7-8, 2014, in San Francisco. PRPSN had a presentation table, and Stigma and Discriminiation Reduction Coordinator, Malia Javier, MSW, was one of the conference organizers. Senior Program Manager, Angelica Garcia participated in the poster session, and Communications Coordinator, Eric Jensen was live-tweeting throughout the event.

Please follow our unfolding series of blog posts covering the conference. It was an exciting event full of inspiration and practical tools from innovators and change agents around the countnry. We can't wait until next year! 

 

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