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Aired Apr 15, 2021

Discussing Suicidal Ideation and Self-Harm

Looking for ways to keep the conversation going about LGBTQ+ issues with your ERG, community group, or PFLAG chapter? Welcome to Something to Talk About, a series designed by PFLAG National’s Straight for Equality  program to create conversation about LGBTQ+ issues. Each month we’ll offer an article on LGBTQ+ topics and suggest a few questions you can use to lead a discussion.

We hosted a conversation about this article as a part of PFLAG Connects and Something to Talk About Live on Thursday, April 15. Did you miss it? You can still watch it here!

Our very special guests were Sam Brinton, Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs with The Trevor Project and Doreen Marshall, Vice President of Mission Engagement, with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Trigger Warning: The article selected includes discussion of self-harm, suicidal ideation, and death by suicide.

Have feedback about how your conversation went? Let us know by emailing [email protected].

Article: How Meghan Markle Has Already Changed the Way We Talk About Suicide

Source: New York Times

Author: Stacey Freedenthal

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Conversations about self-harm, suicidal ideation, and death by suicide often focus on the experiences of youth, which is also true in LGBTQ+ spaces. Do you think stories like Meghan Markle’s will help to broaden the conversation?
  2. The article notes that fewer than half of people experiencing suicidal ideation tell a friend or family member and that, of those who died by suicide, only a third has seen a psychiatrist or therapist in the last year. In your professional experience, why do you think that is the case? How can we create environments where our loved ones know that they can seek out help if and when they need it?
  3. The author suggests that we need to “weaken the walls of silence around suicide” and that one of the ways to do that is to name it specifically. Do you think this is an effective strategy? What should people do if a friend or loved one confirms that they are having thoughts of self-harm and/or suicide?

Looking for another article on this topic (that features one of this week’s fantastic guests, Doreen Marshall) to create a conversation? Check out What Meghan’s openness about suicidal thoughts can teach us by Scottie Andrew for CNN. 

Ways to Watch: