I am proud to announce that today, March 15, in honor of my mother’s birthday, I’m premiering Talking About Suicide Loss With, a series of short interviews on YouTube with other loss survivors I’ve met who are public with their story and creatively use their experience to help and educate others. The goal, like with The Silent Goldens documentary, is simply to promote awareness about the continued and unique pain suicide loss survivors face and encourage all who suffer in silence to start their own conversations.
After 30 years of keeping silent about my mom’s cause of death, I first discovered it was OK to talk about suicide when I volunteered at a suicide prevention walk a few years ago. It was the life-changing revelation that led me to dive head first into the world of suicide awareness.
Though conferences, as a board member for the Greater LA Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide prevention and going to a suicide loss survivor support group through Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, I’ve been privileged to meet so many survivors who combine their pain with their unique skills to offer help and hope to all left behind.
Suicide loss needs to be in the public conversation. The issues never go away for those who face it. The pain needs to be understood. The survivors need to share their grief as people can for any other type of loss. The guests I am talking to gave me the space to open up about my story and the courage to take it public. Now I simply ask them why it was important for them to speak out and how it changed their relationship to their grief.
Talking About Suicide Loss With Mariette Hartley is the first episode. She is an Emmy award-winning actress and author of the bestseller Breaking The Silence, detailing her family’s struggles with alcoholism, depression, and eventually her father’s suicide. I knew who she was as an actress but was surprised to discover she had been a founder of the AFSP in 1987.
I was then stunned to find her name listed as the peer support facilitator for the support group I was assigned to (not your typical celebrity encounter in LA, at least for me). It is something she’s been doing for years and has remained dedicated to helping the loss survivor community at large.
It was during a group meeting when she and I were sharing the damage the silence after suicide can create in families, and my smartass remark about how in my home “silence is golden” that sparked the idea for The Silent Goldens documentary.
The videos will live on a dedicated YouTube channel and be posted monthly:
Also! We are currently running a GoFundMe campaign to expedite the creation of a video presentation about the project to use for grants and seek funding from other sources. Our goal is April 1 so we can finish the tape by our first grant deadline on April 20. Check it out and please share. Thanks!