What Happens Now is a shiny new blog hosted by the American Association of Suicidology, written by and for suicide attempt survivors. Journalist Cara Anna is the editor, inviting other attempt survivors to contribute guest posts, or take part in interviews with her, as well as writing extremely insightful posts herself.
Even the word “survivor” uncovers stigma in the world of suicide prevention. Traditionally it’s been used by those bereaved by the suicide death of someone else, and does not refer to those who have survived suicide attempts.
A few savvy agencies, including the AAS and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, are careful to distinguish between “loss survivors” and “attempt survivors,” but more often organizations will simply refer to “survivors,” and they always mean the bereaved when they do.
This might seem like a quibble with language, but in fact illustrates structural stigma among suicide prevention agencies. Attempt survivors simply don’t exist in their language, or in their activities.