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April 30, 2009

About suicide, but not in the way you might think...

I'm supposed to attend a small group event next week that looks at the problem of suicide and how various new media might contribute to or help mitigate the problem. In preparation for the event, various participants have been sharing their online footprints. At first it was just PR and media types - here's my company, here's my research. Follow me on Twitter!

But yesterday and today, it's been the personal stories. The families of teens and young adults who killed themselves - bullied to death by peers, or silently suffering crushing depression - now politicized and energized to work publicly on this issue through websites and foundations, each gently telling their story. The documentary about teen suicide that aired on PBS last night. The news reports of laid off family men taking guns to themselves and sometimes their spouses and children. And the 45 pages of background reading with statistics.

I'm not sure I can take much more of it. Each story hits me from a fresh angle, and claws at me. It's for the same reason that I can't and don't watch garden-variety local tv news and their tragedy of the day anymore. It literally hurts every time.

I was a bit apprehensive about signing up to participate in such a group given the topic, but I agreed because I think it's an important issue, one that's touched me at times in my own life. And besides, how do you say no to something like this?   But I do wonder what's going to be left of me, emotionally next week once the two-day meeting is over if just the preparation for it seems so very hard.

April 30, 2009 at 05:15 PM | Permalink

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