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On 24th July 2014, I presented at the National Suicide Prevention Conference in Perth, Western Australia about my recovery from attempted suicide. This was a special milestone for me – speaking publicly about my attempt and also proposing steps to recovery that others could integrate into their life. I discuss the role of The Suicide Midwife – a support person who trusts in the life, death, regenerative cycle of nature, as a method of rebuilding, rebirthing, recreating meaning and value after the traumatic experience of attempting suicide.

I was touched to have attempt survivors in the audience resonate with my story and approach, and particularly humbled and proud from Mic Eales words of encouragement at the end of the speech. (Australia’s most highly revered artist in suicide prevention).


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Performed at Centre Camp   Café, Burning Man Festival 2013. This poem draws attention to the need for social awareness, understanding and holistic care for people experiencing depression and suicidal thinking. I advocate for the creative, embodiment and sacred arts in mental health care and ask:

Since when was our sadness a symptom of madness, and drugs the mainstay of care? Since when did we define behavior of our mind as illness with chemical repair?

This was also my opportunity to launch my book on an international stage!

I entered a competition called Are You A Messenger? My compelling message was based on promoting more heart and soul in mental health care. This video was inspired by discovering that ketamine (a horse tranquilizer) has been claimed to revolutionise mental health care – an option I feel is unnecessary when we have so many other healing arts that do not involve drug treatments. I question psychiatry’s 400+ mental illness and vouch for a different approach to psychological, emotional and spiritual challenges that promotes qualities of the heart and soul.

This is my creative and spiritual approach to sharing one of my favourite sacred arts with humanity – a blessing. When I was struggling to overcome depression in a psychiatric clinic, a woman offered me a blessing which had profound effects. Blessings are mood enhancing, life affirming and activate positive change.

I was invited to speak at the gorgeous Sisters For Sisters fundraising event about current news from the Australian Suicide Prevention sector, storytelling from recent conversations, fact-finding and progressive perspectives that have inspired me since the National Suicide Prevention Conference, Perth 2014.

This particular episode, Brothers in Our Arms, was hosted to show support for men in the community experiencing depression and suicidality, and to highlight the tireless work of Lifeline Australia in suicide prevention. In 2013, Lifeline took 730,000 calls through its suicide support hotline. Incredible!

C.C. Myers
The Babyfacedassassin
Advocate of the Heart and Soul in Mental Health Care

*** A note on language:

In this video I refer to the act of someone dying by suicide as a ‘completed suicide’ despite knowing that it is more appropriate to say Ended his/her life. I muddled my words during this presentation!

This is a good reference for applying more appropriate language when we discuss suicide:

STIGMATISING TERMINOLOGY                 APPROPRIATE TERMINOLOGY

Committed suicide                                             Died by suicide

Successful suicide                                               Suicided

Completed suicided                                            Ended his/her life or took his/her own life

Failed attempt at suicide                                   Non-fatal attempt at suicide

Unsuccessful suicide                                          Attempt to end his/her life

 

This table is taken from ‘Suicide and language: Why we shouldn’t use the ‘C’ word, by Susan Beaton, Dr

Peter Forster and Dr Myf Maple. Published in InPsych, February 2013, and available online at

http://www.psychology.org.au/Content.aspx?ID=5048.