Until very recently, suicide attempt survivors have been silenced out of a fear of shame and discrimination. The problem with that silence is that so many more of us are affected by suicide than we even realize. Live Through This shows that everyone is susceptible to depression and suicidal thoughts by sharing the experiences of real people—people who look just like you. These feelings could affect your mom, your partner, your brother, and the fear of talking about it can be a killer. Live Through This encourages survivors to own their experiences publicly—using both their full names and likenesses—thereby stripping the issue of anonymity and raising awareness by, simply, talking about it.
This shirt is a physical, visual reminder for those of us struggling, for those who have struggled, and for those who care about folks who struggle: Stay. Hold on for one more minute, then one more day, a week, a month, a year. Keep holding on. Hold on until you can safely loosen your grip and just be. Stay. You're not alone. We're here with you.
It's not only a reminder. It's a conversation piece. If we're going to change public attitudes and work toward saving the 41,000 lives lost to suicide in the U.S. every year, we need to talk openly about suicide, without fear or shame. When someone asks what the shirt's all about, tell 'em! The more open we can be, the more we can have productive conversations, the more we can effect change.
I set a fundraising goal of 113 shirts to represent the 112.7 people who die by suicide in the U.S. every day. For me, statistics are little more than abstract. Can you imagine standing in a room with 112 other people and actually seeing the daily cost of human lives to suicide?
And now it's time for logistics:
1. Yes, these shirts are SUPER soft.
2. Those with allergies should know that the shirts are "heathered," which means they are a cotton/polyester blend. This prevents excessive shrinkage and also adds to their softness. Heathered shirts are considered to be much more environmentally friendly than 100% cotton, since polyester uses recycled materials.
3. You will not receive your order just after it's placed. You will receive it about 2 weeks after the campaign ends.
4. While the goal is set to 113 shirts, only 11 need to be purchased to ensure a print run. Easy peasy, right?
If you’re feeling suicidal, please talk to somebody. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you don't like the phone, check out Lifeline Crisis Chat or Crisis Text Line. If you're not in the U.S., click here for a link to crisis centers around the world.