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Watch this video, people



And it will speak for itself. Here’s the story behind it.

Edits continue, and don’t be deterred by the introductory note of caution. The idea behind this project is that we can talk about this openly and with confidence. And that’s exactly what you’ll see here.

This video is being explored as a training and messaging tool at the national level. Interested? Contact us.

12 Comments Join the Conversation

    • You are to be commended on your courage and commitment in treating this most sensitive topic. Since you say you are still in editing, I would like to offer some things for you to think about and hope you will take it in a positive light since I believe these topics may help make the piece stronger.
      As a long time documentary filmmaker and videomaker my approach is to offer only comments that relate to reducing or removing distractions rather than more technical details. First, to ensure maximum distribution edit the show to 30:00. Right now my counter shows 32:24. That will create problems for many stations that will not be able to fit it into their programming schedules. Next I would have you consider the more usual application of lower-thirds. It is customary to apply a lower-third identification the first time a new presenter appears on screen and this can be repeated later on if the person appears several times. But to not identify them immediately leaves the audience wondering why they should pay attention to the person. And finally, and most important, is the issue of background music. Any background effect needs to relate to the images being presented to emphasize and direct attention and cue an emotional response. Strong statements from a subject can be made even stronger by eliminating background music. If you feel it is necessary, try engaging a local musician-composer who will often gladly work for a screen credit to produce a composition evoked from the footage as it impacts them. But if stock material, avoid strong beats and high levels. It is all too easy for the music to draw attention away and reduce the impact of human speech.
      This is clearly a most needed production which should have wide exposure. I hope you accept my comments in that light. I wish you well.


      • Thank you for taking the time to view “A Voice at the Table” & for your thoughtful technical suggestions. I’ll pass them on to Zak. Take good care.

  1. I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time I watched this moving and amazing film. I have always known how important it is to include all those touched by suicide and as someone bereaved by suicide myself, could never figure out why attempt survivors – the very people with lived experience – were being excluded, feared and not heard.

    I have many attempt survivor members on my page, admire and am thankful for each one of them knowing the odds they have faced and the fact they survived and are still here with us.

    To watch this Attempt Survivor movement gain such momentum truly makes me happy and proud to have interacted with so many of those involved with this and know it’s long overdue and much needed to truly turn the tide and help prevent suicide. Kudos to each of you for being so open and out – you give others such incredible hope and allow them a safe place to be heard, encouraged and helped. I am thrilled to see this transition within the suicide and mental health arenas and know it will save a great many lives.


    • I am a suicide attempt survivor, and so much of this and your stories deeply resonated with me. I am a little over 2 years into my recovery journey and still in hiding somewhat. But in a couple years, I think I will be ready to be more open and am currently in graduate school learning about trauma prevention and recovery. This video echoed so many of my own experiences when I was in the hospital, when I came out and was looking for resources for “suicide survivors” and support groups that didn’t exist. I still struggle with the invisibility, the silence, the shame, and fear of what others might think if they knew. But watching this video, seeing that you all are heroes, gives me hope that I can be a hero too. Even as I am training to be an “expert,” that lived experience is what gives me my passion, my empathy, and my desire to help others who feel or have felt this way. It hasn’t been easy. I have done a lot of work in therapy, and toward my own healing, and I still have my pitfalls along the way, but I’m doing everything I can to keep moving forward. I am so glad to have found this blog. I’ve been following it for a few months but this is my first time posting. I wanted to express my sincere gratitude and commend you all for this beautiful and inspiring video. Hopefully soon I will be able to join in this change-making process!


  2. A beautiful, inspiring and courageous film! Hopefully a spark that will light the flame to illuminate the darkness surrounding suicide. Bravo to all involved.


  3. After watching the video, I find it heartening, but I am not going to be one who gushes over its entirety. I find it interesting that it begins talking about the cost (financial) of suicide, suicide attempts, and the social effects these have. Personal stories, of course, are important to share and awareness created. My view, however–and one that may not be shared–is not a social one. It focuses on the individual and his, or her, self-knowledge and acceptance.


    • Deanna,

      You said your view is centered on an indivdual’s self knowlege and acceptance but you don’t explain how. Would you expound on that statement please?


      • Are you asking how one arrives at self-knowledge and/or acceptance, Joel? I don’t see this as a social process.

  4. As a young suicide attempt survivor and someone who provides suicide prevention services professionally and in a volunteer capacity, it is exciting to see this change taking place. This is a more than necessary change in conversation and something that will benefit the field enormously. I am excited about projects that are able to find even professionals who have lived experience and are beginning to feel comfortable talking about how those events have changed the ways that they care for others in their practices. My hope is that reducing stigma within the field will be a model for how those outside of the field can also begin to confront their own stigma. I am thankful to those in this video who shared their stories and am feeling inspired to continue using my own story as a catalyst for change in my own life and in the lives of others!


  5. As a loss survivor i work with a local suicide prevention task force. For close to a decade we have been providing prevention education to schools with teens presenting their own prevention presentation to their peers and a loss survivor sharing his story. For over a year we have added loss survivors as part of our education / speakers program. It has been a great addition and i commend those that can speak about their experiences. It helps to “make it real”, lets others know that they are not alone, that there are many reasons that one might consider suicide but mostly there are reasons to live.

    We reach over 1,500 kids yearly in the local secondary schools and are starting to reach out more into the community thru QPR training and other programs. I am constantly asked if there is a program along the lines of Alcohol Anonymous for attempt survivors and people currently struggling with suicide. If there is, i would love to not have to “re-invent the wheel” and get a group started in our community. If not, i would appreciate input / thoughts on such a group as i feel that we are moving in this direction and i really want it to work.


    • You’re in luck, Lance. I am currently working on that very item in collaboration with a local service provider and under the blanket of the Bristol County (MA) Regional Coalition for Suicide Prevention. The curriculum is titled “Re-Energize & Reconnect – Reach Out & Believe.” The workbook is intended to create a 10-12 week workshop setting (once a month) & is a combination of Annie Lamott, Julia Cameron & several 12 Step modalities – upbeat, upstream, resilience based activities that address the importance of acceptance, forgiveness, fear…we developed this based on a few years of feedback from loss survivors and have adapted the guides for attempt & loss survivors…and we’re breaking those down for youth, adults & elderly. It’s about living life fully, laughing, living, being creative, & learning to trust & love…and these are not typical “groups.” They are presented as program workshops. The workbooks should be ready to roll by mid-July. We hoped to have them out sooner but a little thing called a documentary took up a tad more time than we anticipated: “A Voice at the Table.”


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