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Suicide crosses all cultural, economic and social boundaries. Many people who die by suicide appeared to be functioning well prior to their death. It can happen to anyone.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some FAQs about submitting a story:

If I include my name and number in my story, will you respond?
How do you keep stories anonymous?
How will I know if you publish my story on the web page or in printed form?
What will you do with the stories that are submitted?
What if I change some of the details in submitting my story?
I didn’t make a suicide attempt but I came very close. Do you want my story?
What if I send a story that has nothing to do with a suicide attempt?
What if I am suicidal right now?
What if I change my mind after sending my story?
Can I save my partially submitted story and finish it later?
Who will read my story?
How will my story be used in research?
How can my story help someone who is suicidal?
What does "as required by law" mean as it appears on the consent form?
Why are you numbering the stories?
Someone special to me died by suicide. Can I send you my story?
I want to tell my story through art or written prose, not an online typed submission. Can I send you my work?

 

If I include my name and contact information in my story, will you respond?

No. We will not contact people who send in stories, even if contact information is included in the story. We very much appreciate the time and effort involved in writing and sending us your story. We feel it is important that all stories remain anonymous. Please keep in mind this website is not a treatment service and we cannot respond to individual requests for assistance.

How do you keep stories anonymous?

No information about you will be collected. You will not be asked for your name, email address or any other identifying information. The website will not collect information about the computer used to send your story. If your story is posted on the website or in another form, we will make every reasonable effort to change any possible identifying details. For example, names of people and places will be changed. We will change other details if we feel it is necessary to maintain confidentiality.

How will I know if you publish my story on the web page or in printed form?

When your story is submitted, it will be given a number. The number will be displayed and you can remember it or write it down. When a story is published in any form, the number of the story will be included. This will allow you to confirm if it is your story in case we have edited the story or changed some details to make sure your story cannot be traced to you. The only time you can learn the number of your story is immediately after you submit it. The lead researcher will keep a list of all stories submitted and their numbers. This list will be kept in a locked hospital office.

What will you do with the stories that are submitted?

We will carefully read your story to understand your experience. Themes will be identified in your story and then all of the major themes found across the stories will be summarized. When we publish or present anything about this project, all of the stories will be considered for examples. Some stories will be posted on this website. Before any part of your story is shared with anyone not directly involved in the Project, all identifying details will be changed.

What if I change some of the details in submitting my story?

We will have no idea if you change details in your story. To help us understand your situation, we hope you will include accurate and true information.

I didn’t make a suicide attempt but I came very close. Do you want my story?

Yes. We want to understand the experiences of people who had decided to end their lives and now want to go on living. For some people, they may have not carried out their plans although they had decided to die. These stories are certainly of interest to us.

What if I send a story that has nothing to do with a suicide attempt?

We will not include your story in the Reasons to go on Living Project. If the submission contains information that concerns us in regards to public safety, we may share it with authorities.

What if I am suicidal right now?

If you are currently experiencing suicidal thoughts, please seek help immediately. There are many people, websites and services to help you. Please contact a local crisis service, or click here. From anywhere in the USA you can speak directly with a crisis counsellor at 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE). We sincerely hope you will seek assistance for your distress.

What if I change my mind after sending my story?

Your story is not sent to the Project until you click on the final submit button. Once a story has been submitted, it is not possible to retract it. When you submit a story, you give the Reasons to go on Living Project permission to use and edit it.

Can I save my partially submitted story and finish it later?

No. The website is not set up to allow you to access your story at a later time to make changes or complete it. We suggest you write your story off line in a word processing program. You can take as much time as you need to write your story. When you are finished, you can “cut and paste” your story into the box on the “submit your story” page, or send it to us as an attachment.

Who will read my story?

The Project leads are Dr. Jennifer Brasch, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Helen Kirkpatrick, a nurse. Drs. Brasch and/or Kirkpatrick will read all the stories that are submitted. We may involve other researchers in the Project to help us understand common themes in the stories and analyze the stories for our research project. Any story that is published on this website or in another form will be edited as required to ensure anonymity. A published story may be read by anyone who finds it.

How will my story be used in research?

We will examine the stories we receive for the information that is included. We have not asked for specific types of information because we want to see what people feel is important to include. We will also analyze the stories for the major themes that are described and the story structures that people use. Information from many stories will be collected together to help us draw conclusions about what is important to people who have made a suicide attempt and now want to go on living.

How can my story help someone who is suicidal?

We plan to post some stories on this website and perhaps publish them in other forms because we believe that people who are feeling suicidal may find it helpful and inspiring to read how other people overcame their thoughts of suicide and found reasons to go on living. We will study and analyze all the stories for important themes about recovery after a suicide attempt. These research findings will be shared with health care professionals through presentations and publications in the medical literature. The information we learn from the stories may enable health care professionals to better help people who are suicidal.

What does "as required by law" mean as it appears on the consent form?

Ontario law requires that certain circumstances, prescribed in the law, be reported to specified authorities. These circumstances are quite limited and very specific. They include specified communicable diseases that must be reported to the Medical Officer of Health and child abuse, neglect or endangerment that must be reported to a Children’s Aid Society. Should you disclose such information to us, we have no choice but to make such a report.

Why are you numbering the stories?

Your story is much more than a number. However, since stories are sent to us anonymously, using a number is a way for you to know which story is yours, and for us to organize the stories. If we post or publish your story, we may need to change some details or edit the story. By including the number with each story, you can be certain it is your story. If you do not want to know the number for your story, look away from the screen after you click on “yes” to submit your story.

Someone special to me died by suicide. Can I send you my story?

At this time we are only collecting stories from people who have made a suicide attempt themselves and now want to go on living. However, we recognize that a death from suicide touches the lives of many, and that suicide survivors may want to tell their stories to help people understand how deeply losing someone they love to suicide has affected their life. In the future, we may collect stories from people who have lost a loved one to suicide. Please check back later.

I want to tell my story through art or written prose, not an online typed submission. Can I send you my work?

We welcome submissions received through the mail. Sign the consent form with your name. Enclose your signed consent with the material you send to us by mail. We will keep the signed consents in a confidential file in a locked hospital office. Material mailed to us cannot be returned.

If you wish to mail your submission, send it to:

Dr. Jennifer Brasch
3 Fontbonne
St. Joseph’s Healthcare
50 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton, ON CANADA
L8N 4A6

Please mark the envelope “Confidential - to be opened by Dr. Brasch only.”

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