A big piece that is missing from this discussion with Jennifer and her work seems to be any deep acknowledgement of the intense suffering that one is feeling when suicide feels like a legitimate answer. The lack of this acknowledgement is a great void in this program.Another important piece that is missing is that our culture doesn't safely allow one to discuss suicide or the fact that one is having thoughts and serious considerations of suicide. Even in supposedly safe environments such as therapy it can often feel unsafe to talk about suicide because of the labels that then get attached to the person. Jennifer seems to encourage that conversation be allowed, but she herself, even after all her research still can't comfortably talk about suicide! Calling it "IT" and stumbling over her words. I listened to the unedited version and was surprised by what appeared to be her uncomfortableness with talking about her own thoughts of suicide.I do agree with Krista's reflection that the conversation about suicide needs to open up as it has with bullying. And an important part of that is creating truly safe environments where people can talk about the pain they are in and say the word suicide without others flinching. As family and friends, we need to expand our capacity to hear this from people we care about and others in our close and also greater communities.I encourage On Being to have this be the start of ongoing conversations about suicide and our cultures ability to have open conversations on this critical matter.
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