Latest News

MMP Updates & Community Happenings

Wake Up: Stories from the Frontlines of Suicide Prevention – by Matthew Valerie

by September 19, 2021 0

The film “Wake Up: Stories from the Frontlines of Suicide Prevention” begins, detailing the suicide of Ryan Candice. He was loved by everyone, and his death was completely unexpected. He had intense anxiety, and didn’t feel there was a way out. Research shows the number of cases of suicide among teenagers and young adults is increasing, even with the increased spending on mental health.

The film takes us to Utah, where a large number of suicides happen, along with other states in the Rocky Mountains. Gun culture is very prevalent in Utah, One of the reasons places small places in Utah have such a high rate is because of the lack of resources, and a lot of blue-collar jobs. Following this, we are shown the prevalence of suicide among veterans.

Suicide rates were relatively low compared to the national average, but there was an increase from 2008 and 2009, without there being any sign of slowing down.

Some veterans are even turned away when seeking help from the VA, especially if they aren’t honorably discharged. PTSD is very prevalent among veterans, and some are skeptical to seek treatment, especially if they served in the Vietnam War.

Among college students, it is unknown as to why suicide rates are as prevalant as they are, but there has been a notable increase since smartphones and social media became a prevalent part of everyday life.

We’re next shown the prevalence of suicide among the LGBT community. A lack of familial support can lead to thoughts of taking ones’ life. Before, trans people were seen as perverted, deviant in some sort of way.

Although these communities come from diverse backgrounds and have a variety of issues they may deal with, there are common threads that leads to suicide among these communities. Having a lack of resources, social stigma to seek help, feeling hopeless, and at times self-isolation. There is work being done to prevent suicide, such as increase of resources and counseling, and psa’s that talk about suicide prevention.

The pain that losing a loved one to suicide doesn’t go away, but there is still hope for those struggling.

Following the screening, Peg and Patrick Hunter led the discussion. Patrick Hunter began the discussion by talking about the suicide of his brother. His death is what drove him to work with NAMI, which has helped him to grieve, and to understand as best as possible what can lead to suicide. What struck Peg about the movie is the courage to say the word, “suicide”. Mark in the discussion asked if there were resources in Jefferson County. There is a local phone number, and resources through NAMI.

Medication works to prevent suicide, but it may take time with someone going through depression, as they may be fine one day, and depressed the next. Talking about suicide is essential, Judith in the discussion said counselors in Washington have to take refresher suicide courses every four years. She started a prevention line when she was 29. She really stressed for people to not be afraid to reach out if they are struggling. She had a suicide that happened in her neighborhood, that was tragic, but in other ways, bonded the people in her neighborhood.  Lori asked in the discussion what someone can do if a friend has suicidal thoughts, aside from hearing them? Judith said it’s good to hear them out, that by them talking about their feelings and emotions, it’s not a trigger, and can be a lifeline for them, to just let them talk about what’s going on. Making an agreement with that person to not harm themselves in a certain time frame can be helpful. It’s a law in Washington state for ministers, counselors and similar professions to breach confidentiality when faced with a person dealing with suicide ideation.

To get more information on suicide prevention, or if you need someone to speak to, some following links are provided below:

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI Jefferson County, PO Box 687. Port Townsend WA 98369. 360-385-1716

The S Word” film

Salish Regional Crisis Line (Jefferson, Clallam, Kitsap Counties)

Call 1-888-910-0416


Dove House also has a 24/7 crisis line: 360-385-5291

Discovery Behavioral Health Crisis Hotline: 350-385-0321 Ext. #1 (contact for suicide prevention workshop coming up)

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

Leave a Comment, Continue the DiscussionYour email address will not be published. The Meaningful Movies Project is dedicated to civil, respectful conversations in which individual opinions are welcomed and honored. Please avoid violence in language, profanity, and personal attacks toward someone with whom you disagree. Avoid hurtful speech towards any race, religion, ethnicity, political affiliation, etc. Please use this space for the positive benefit of all, using thoughtful, succinct commentary. We reserve the right to remove comments that we deem inappropriate, and to block any subscribers who we feel refuse to comply.