What would you say to someone who is currently experiencing suicidal thoughts?
I understand how much pain you’re in. I have been there. Please stop a moment and consider if you really want to end your life or put an end to your pain. I know it hurts, but suicide is never the answer. Consider what you’ll leave behind.
What would you say to someone who has survived a suicide attempt?
I’m proud of you for surviving such a painful and terrifying experience.
Why is spotlighting Suicide Prevention Awareness Month important? What are messages about mental health that you feel people need to hear?
The suicide rate is way too high, and as long as that is the case, we need to highlight prevention. A good message is it’s OK to Not Be OK.
Have you been able to be open with friends, family, and/or colleagues about your mental health? What have people done or said that was helpful? What have people done or said that wasn’t helpful?
I opened up to the world in 2013 when I wrote a book about my life and my struggles with my mental health. For the most part, I received positive feedback. There were some people that mocked me or said I was a narcissist. The most useless bit of advice I’ve ever gotten is “Just think positive!”
What role does the stigma surrounding suicide play in your wellness journey?
I spend every day trying to fight the stigma. It feels like we may be winning. It’s important to surround yourself with people that are like-minded and will respect your voice.
What do you feel that you have gotten out of being a part of the DBSA community?
Support, information, and camaraderie
What are your biggest mental health related accomplishments so far? What are you proudest to have contributed to?
I wrote a memoir. I also became a guest blogger for the Huffington Post and The Mighty. I also created and maintain a podcast, and I’ve created a well known hashtag #KeepTalkingMH. I have 2 blogs, one that I created specifically to highlight other peoples’ stories of survival.
What would you like to see, in the short- or long-term, change in the mental health space? What impact would you like to have?
I would like to see a mandatory course in school in mental health sensitivity training.
To learn more about Rebecca’s story, check out her Life Unlimited feature.