Life saving conversations
When I woke up this morning I was definitely thinking about this interview.
I don't have any lines (laughs).
My nose (laughs).
In those days what twenty years ago there was no one to talk to.
The first time I considered it I was seven years old and it was the most confronting moment in my life.
I thought the best thing to do was not to be here anymore.
You just have to hold on to hope and just choose life.
It changed everything.
I feel a sense of healing for myself as well as others.
This is our story, we own it (laughs).
You have a lot of courage for reaching out.
This is inspiring actually
My journey's been worth it.
Chris: As a community we need to talk about suicide a lot more than what we do.
Bill: If I can just help one guy prevent going through suicide or go through what I went through then it's all worth it.
Tim: Mm-hmm. Totally. Absolutely
Paul: You know we've all become very accustomed to saying 'Are you okay' but we need to be able to follow up with that, because when somebody gives us an answer we generally already know the answer before they tell us. You know, take that a step further and ask them 'Are you safe?' 'Have you thought about harming yourself or suicide?' It's okay to ask that because you might be the only person that asks them and it might be that one moment that the person says 'You know what, I'm not okay and I'm not safe and I do need some help'.
Chris: And you don't have to be a professional right. It costs nothing to ask someone if they're okay. I know the challenge with a lot of people in asking is well what happens if that person comes back and says, 'well, no I'm not'. But you don't have to do anything with that information. You just need to be there and let them talk.
Greg: I think one of the biggest things about depression is that you feel a burden...
Greg: And so you always feel like you're a negative on people, but if people come up to you and are genuinely interested in talking to you.
Greg: You feel less burdensome.....
Ashley: That's right, I agree. Because you're like well yeah someone's there to lift me up and I'm not a burden to them because they've come to me.
Chelsea: What's the hardest thing about starting a conversation with someone you worried about?
Jen: I think the hardest part about starting a conversation with someone that I'm worried about is that I might catch them by surprise. I think a lot of people are very good at hiding how they're feeling and for me to notice that they're not feeling well and to say, ''hey you're not yourself today'' or ''are you not feeling great today?'' might throw them off and you know that would surprise them. But I think once they get over the initial surprise that I actually am you know noticing that they're not feeling well then we can have that conversation on a level that's comfortable for them.
Riley: There were definitely times where I did feel alone, but I found people who were also part of the trans community. Speaking to them helped a lot because they had a lot of similar experiences and they could point me in the direction of where I needed to go to get help. I probably wasn't as alone as I thought, but it was difficult to find people who were supportive as well at least at first.
Rosie: I don't know about you Michelle it's a relief...
Michelle: Mhmm, it really is...
Rosie: It's a relief to talk.
Michelle: Once upon a time I was very sheltered and didn't want to discuss anything and kept it all in myself, but now since I've been so open and honest about my journey, my story, I feel a sense of healing for myself as well as others. And yeah, it's a part of your healing and recovery.
Rosie: Yeah, that's exactly how I feel, that bottling things up and not being true to yourself in who you are it's made my friendships better I'm able to talk to others just about simple problems much easier.
Paul: It's really really hard to talk even now you know 14 - 15 years later there's times when it's hard to talk, but I know the benefits. I know the difference it makes even just a slight conversation. We talk about ourselves and what we've both been through. I know that it's changed in my life and therefore my family my friends and so on.
Chelsea: Conversations can save lives. You don't know what's happening behind closed doors. You don't know what's happening behind the facade that they're portraying and if you asked a simple question like ''hey, how are you doing? Is there anything you want to talk about''. You don't know it at the time, but they could be at their lowest point and for you to open up and talk to them will give them a reason to validate their feelings and be able to express how they're feeling in that moment. It gives you a little bit of, I don't know hope is the right word, but like it kind of warms your insides to think that someone else cares. It's easier to be able to open up about it
Jen: I agree and I think conversations hopefully can save lives.