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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Send a Picture. Help Save a Life. | Are you a Suicide Survivor? | Maris Ehlers Photography

Next week I will be giving a talk at Eastern Connecticut State University to a group of students and faculty members as part of the planned activities for the school's suicide awareness month.  

I will be sharing the story of our brother, Kirk Andrew Murphy. I will be talking about the "Sissy Boy Experiment" at UCLA, Kirk's unwitting role in this "research", how it has shaped our country's perceptions about diversity, and how it affected his life in the most ultimate of ways:  with his death by suicide.

The goal in speaking out is to help people understand that suicide can be prevented and lives can be saved.  

I will not be speaking about suicide awareness and prevention from the perspective of a medical professional.   I will not be talking about the latest treatments or therapies.  There are many people who are immensely qualified in that regard, and I am not one of them.

I will, however, be speaking from the perspective of a suicide survivor, because if there is one thing I have learned on this journey, when you lose someone you love to suicide, you then must learn to survive it.  It is a unique journey of grief.  

Beyond telling Kirk's story, I will also be sharing a message of hope, a challenge to those present.  

I believe we can help prevent suicide.  I believe that together we can save lives.  I believe that while modern medicine can and does do its part, we as a community must do ours.  Every single one of us.

The challenge? To connect instead of isolate. Accept instead of judge. Support instead of condemn. Lift up instead of tread upon.

If you are a suicide survivor in any way - whether you have struggled with the idea of it now or in the past, or if you have lost someone you love to suicide - and you are willing to share a picture of yourself in a collage to be used in this presentation, I would greatly appreciate it.  Pictures may or may not have a first name included (to be determined). 

Please email a picture of yourself to by Monday, September 12th in order to be considered.  It doesn't have to be pretty, or professional. It just has to be you.  It doesn't matter what you look like.  It only matters that you send it. Please include your first name and how/why you are a suicide survivor.  

Please send a picture to help save a life. 

Thank you. 


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Tracie said...

thank you maris for sharing your story. so many struggle with this terrible demon...and so many turn their heads to the problem. we all need to reach out and help others...they need to be heard, loved and cherished.
blessings to you...

Toni said...

thanks for sharing this...wish i had seen this a while back. i am a suicide survivor myself, and would have like to help out with this.

God bless you!