Dese’Rae L. Stage is helping suicide survivors live through this and whatever comes next

February 12, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark News


Suicide attempt survivor Dese’Rae L. Stage has traveled throughout the U.S. gathering photographs and stories of suicide attempt survivors for her project Live Through This. The collection now contains works from more than 135 people in 20 cities. Stage is also an activist, speaks on panels and at other engagements across the country, and coordinates a private Facebook group where attempt survivors and others in distress help each other. In this interview she discusses how she came to develop the project and her goals for it. Ending the silence about depression and suicide and empowering attempt survivors to speak is a key purpose. The project also helps create a sense of validation and community for attempt survivors while at the same time enabling loss survivors to better understand what families and friends who have taken their lives may have gone through. Behavioral health researchers and providers have also been using the project to help them better understand attempt survivors’ experiences. Stage says, “Now, it’s about engaging with the professional community consistently to prove that we have agency and that we aren’t scary.”

Spark Extra! For additional guidance from attempt survivors about improving resources and support for people experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings, see The Way Forward.