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Better Off With You

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New Contributor

This is controlled B/S

Really .. happy families and friends ?   Lucky you 🌹 ... Isolation vs unconditional love 

STOP the BS 

11 REPLIES 11
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Re: This is controlled B/S

Hi @Eminabud1 

 

It can be so hard when we don't have the family and friends around us and are isolated. Its really great that you have reached out here in the forums, it can be a good option and way to find some connection with others. Do you want to share a bit more about whats going on for you? 

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Re: This is controlled B/S

Hi @Eminabud1.

 

I'm assuming that your referring to the "Better Off With You" campaign as the "controlled B/S"?

 

If so, then I can relate. I was actually wandering around this site mulling over how to offer some constructive criticism when I encountered your post. As a suicidal man, I have to say that this campaign really doesn't speak to me; and it also gives me concerns about how it might effect the ideas & attitudes that non-suicidal people have about people like myself.

 

Yet, at the same time, I can't argue with the fact that the spokespeople for this campaign are actual suicidal people, or at least former suicidal people. A cherry-picked subdivision of the suicidal population, no doubt, but suicidal people nonetheless.

 

I've always referred to "the suicidal community", because I always just thought/assumed that people who've found death to be a better option then survival have a link of commonality in that situation. A common ground that aloud us to connect with one another, if you will.

 

But I'm starting to think that "community" might be a bit of an optimistic word. We who are suicidal are a very diverse lot, with very diverse plights. What is strikingly relatable truth for one sub-group sounds like complete BS to people in the other corner of the field.

 

So I guess that campaigns directed toward the suicidal can really only target certain sub-groups of suicidal people. Campaigns like this probably really help the people who can relate to them, and I think the rest of us suicidals probably just have to realize that these ads aren't meant for us - just like how tampon ads on TV aren't meant for guys. If you are a guy, you just kind of zone out during the ads that aren't for you and let the target audience get what it needs from them. I think it's the same with these sorts of anti-suicide campaigns.

 

Though, as I say, I do have lingering concerns about how these ads can skew broader public attitudes towards us. How much more likely will people be to assume that my suicidalness stems from me "believing that I'm a burden", after watching these ads? How much more prone will they be to argue with me that: "I'm not a burden and it's just some illness I have putting those delusional thoughts into my head", when such arguments would be wildly off-topic?

 

So I guess you could say that my grievance with the campaign is not that it doesn't speak to me, but that I'm a little concerned it might misrepresent me.

 

Can you relate to that?

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Former-Member
Not applicable

Re: This is controlled B/S

I agree. It serves a specific presentation and narrative only. That's typical though for a "prevention" campaign. 

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Re: This is controlled B/S

Hi @chibam @Eminabud1 @Former-Member @Lauz   I agree with the way you've put it @chibam  - re ads that reach different audiences - just because the sense of being a burden wasn't part of it for me when I tried (was in a coma for 10 days so very nearly succeeded), either before or after ..... doesn't mean that it's not valid for a lot of other people.  Not every campaign can help every person.  As with the rest of life and humanity - we have our differences.  Different strokes for different folks, horses for courses ......

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Re: This is controlled B/S

Hey all @Eminabud1 @Former-Member @chibam I think these are pretty solid reflections and serves as really good feedback. I would like to thank each of you for being so open, honest and vulnerable in your own journeys - this takes a great deal of strength.

 

I can understand concerns over how the broader community may perceive those who have experienced suicidal ideation and intent, thank you for being really open and honest in sharing this too. The aim of Better Off With You is to draw on the power of peer-to-peer storytelling – sharing the experiences of individuals who have had suicidal thoughts and survived suicide attempts, to reach people in the community who are contemplating suicide. This campaign concept draws on Thomas Joiner’s Interpersonal Theory of Suicide, which identifies β€˜perceived burdensomeness’ as a key belief in individuals who are having suicidal thoughts. The campaigns were delivered in two areas of Australia,  the Northern Beaches in Sydney, New South Wales; and the Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac area in Northern Queensland. These locations were selected as areas of need due to high rates of suicide, and also chosen based on their community readiness (including having established local suicide prevention action planning groups and coordination within their local services to respond to people during suicidal crisis). I hope this bit of extra info helps, thanks heaps for sharing and please feel free to keep discussing this amongst your peers here Heart

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Former-Member
Not applicable

Re: This is controlled B/S

I know. The message is redundant to me because I've seen and heard it far too many times. 

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Re: This is controlled B/S

@Former-Member  IMO, the problem isn't that it's redundant, the problem is that it's just plain wrong.

 

Maybe I'm weird, but redundancy never bothers me when it's a good message/idea I've heard a thousand times before, because my mindset is: "That's a really good idea, and I'm glad I found out about it. It deserves as much exposure as it can get, so that everyone can find out about it."

 

But when it comes to the majority of these suicide messages, my response the 1000th time I hear it is the same frustrated eye roll I've always given them since the first time I delved into it and found out it doesn't hold water.

 

Like, take the page on this campaign: https://betteroffwithyou.org.au/feeling-like-a-burden. Now, although it doesn't explicitly say that a suicidal person is delusional/confused/mistaken/irrational (I won't even try to list all the terms I've heard people use to say that another person's thinking is faulty) for feeling like a burden, the way I read that page is that it's trying to suggest that these feelings are wrong. Am I the only one who picks up that insinuation from the page?

 

Then the page goes on to list:

  • Depending on others for emotional or financial support

as one of the ways that suicidal people can 'believe' themselves to be a burden - once again, with the overriding implication that these beliefs about being a burden are wrong.

 

The problem with this is that these concerns aren't wrong at all!

 

Just looking at financials alone - because that's a much easier field to examine, with hard numbers we can look at - there are plenty of people out there who are overburdened just trying to take care of themselves, let alone saddling them with added financial burdens from a suicidal person! This is a fact, which most people would be aware of.

 

Then there is the emotional side. Personally, I believe that this, too, is a way in which peoples' concerns about being a burden can be legitimate. As a matter of fact, one of the main reasons why I would like to die is because of peoples' rampant tendencies to inflict misery on others. When you bring someone else down, you eat away at the quality of their life and their capacity to believe that that life full of the misery that you and others have flooded it with is actually worth prolonging. So yes, being concerned about being an emotional burden on other people is a legitimate concern for a suicidal person to considder, IMHO. And I say that as a person who has studied the matter (not entirely consentually) from both sides.

 

So yeah, that's why I find these messages so frustrating, TBH. Not that their repetative; just that they are demonstratably and problematically shaky, when they aren't altogether wrong.

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Former-Member
Not applicable

Re: This is controlled B/S

Yes, there's that too. But no one who puts them out there cares. If they did, they'd stop putting them out there. 

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Re: This is controlled B/S


@Former-Member wrote:

Yes, there's that too. But no one who puts them out there cares. If they did, they'd stop putting them out there. 


You mean the messages?

 

Yeah, I get what your saying. I have to admit that a lot of the time, I get the feeling that we, the little suicidal people, are just pawns in the chess games of the organizations & big names that preside over these issues.

 

But I think that a fair few of them do "care", but just, it's a really distorted interpretation of the word "care", you know? Like how an abusive parent or partner might beat someone and genuinely believe that their doing it because they "care" about their victim and they really want to make sure they learn the oh-so-important lesson that they are trying to beat into them, you know what I'm trying to say?

 

So when it comes to these anti-suicide campaigners, they think that using these sorts of faulty mind tricks on their suicidal audience is done out of "care", because these tactics get results; they prevent suicides, which, from their point of view, is the most caring thing you can do for someone. But they don't care about the consequences of the strategies' breakdowns because, from their value system: "Any consequence is a better outcome then suicide", and they are so wrapped up in their 'successes' - the suicides that their strategies prevent or forestall - that they are blind to the way that the problematic aspects of their strategies slowly build-up and ultimately produce a negative impact (or at least a zero-ultimate-benefit impact) on the nationwide suicide crisis.

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