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Lane suicide prevention group is recruiting survivors to share their stories

The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Lane County and Lane County Public Health is actively recruiting people who live in Lane County and have survived a suicide attempt to share their story with the community as part of a public awareness campaign.  Participants will work closely with an artist contracted by the Coalition to document their lives through photographs and record their story in an audio interview.  Final stories will be shared in galleries and other public spaces throughout Lane County to shed light on suicide as a public health issue and to provide people in distress with examples of hope and recovery.

“On average 100 people die by suicide each year in Lane County. Additionally, research suggests that roughly 2,000 people attempt suicide and that as many as 20,000 people seriously consider suicide every year in Lane County,” said Roger Brubaker, Suicide Prevention Coordinator with Lane County Public Health.  These data demonstrate that suicide is a relatively common experience in Lane County and one that touches all our lives in some way or another.  “We don’t talk about suicide nearly enough,” said Del Quest, Co-chair of the Coalition and a professor of social work at Pacific University.  “With this project, the Coalition hopes to put a face to the numbers so people can learn about the topic of suicide in a new way and people who may be thinking about suicide themselves can see that others have been in a similar situation and found ways to cope and reconnect with life again.”

Project participants must be at least 18 years of age or older, live in Lane County and have survived a suicide attempt to participate.  Those who want to share their story with others are encouraged to submit their interest by visiting the project webpage lanecountysurvivorsproject.com . The SPCLC is committed to representing diverse experiences about surviving a suicide attempt, with special care in supporting rural, BIPOC, non-English language, LGBTQ+ and veteran participants to safely share their stories.  All candidates will be contacted by program staff to discuss the logistics and realities of participation and to answer any questions they may have.

Roger Brubaker emphasizes that men are specifically encouraged to participate in the project.  “Men are four times as likely to die by suicide compared to women. However, they’re less likely to share their experiences with suicide.  We want any man in Lane County who has survived a suicide attempt to know that they are welcome to join this project and that when you share your story you will be helping other men who may feel they have nowhere else to turn.”

The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Lane County is a group of stakeholders representing various populations and sectors of Lane County including people with lived experience of suicide, schools, healthcare, social services, businesses and more.  The group is chaired by community members and staffed by Lane County Public Health representatives.  The SPCLC’s mission is to implement proactive strategies to bring awareness and education about suicide prevention to people in Lane County.  For more information on the work of the SPCLC and how to get involved click on their website at suicidepreventlane.org

Project Contact: Roger Brubaker – Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Lane County Public Health

Phone – 541-515-4768

Email – roger.brubaker@lanecountyor.gov

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