My name is Dese’Rae L. Stage, and I’m a photographer in Brooklyn.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that people don’t want to talk about suicide and frequently don’t bother to until it’s too late. I want to change that. I’m convinced that we can save lives by learning to talk about it.
To address the problem, I started Live Through This, a collection of the portraits and stories of suicide attempt survivors, as told by those survivors. I’m putting faces and names to the statistics. I’m giving a voice to stories that have rarely been told out of shame and fear.
Why do I care? I’m also a suicide attempt survivor. Look down. That’s me on the left. I don’t want anyone to ever have to feel as alone as I felt in those moments that led me to try to end my life. I think, if I had someone to talk to, my story might be different.
A suicide is attempted every 40-60 seconds. A suicide is completed every 15-18 minutes. That means that around 96 people die from suicide every single day in this country. At least 6 people are intimately affected by each completed suicide. When you do the math, you start to see how overwhelming this problem is: 576 people are affected by suicide every day; 17,280 in a month; 207,360 in a year.
There are over 120 attempt survivors across the country who want to share their stories with me—with us—so I’m raising funds via Kickstarter to take the project on the road.
I’m so close to meeting the goal, but I still need help. If you’ve ever been affected by suicide, please consider donating—every single dollar counts. And if you don’t have that dollar to spare, you can help by sharing the link anywhere and everywhere. Please help. You might save a life.
For more information (or to donate), please visit http://bit.ly/livethroughthis.
If you’re feeling suicidal, please talk to somebody. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.