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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Resources List Part I

First things first: I want you to copy this article, print it, put it everywhere, read it, and let it become you. I am serious. Put this article in your room, in your wallet, or inside your coping box. Put it everywhere. Share it, spread it, and make it accessible. Do this, if not for yourself, for someone else.

This article is all about resources available to us both on and off campus. Please, before you act on any self-harm or suicidal thought, consider these options first. They will save you a lot of regret and may even save you entirely.

I know it is difficult to tell the truth apart from the lies that your brain may be telling you. I know I am asking a lot from you to be brave and reach out to someone. But you are worth it. You could do this alone, but it would be so much better to do it with people cheering you on. You are worthy of recovery and you can get better. This crisis will not last forever. I know it is hard and it will not come easy to you, but do it anyway—for yourself, for your loved ones, for me.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24/7 phone call away. They can be there for you to acknowledge the pain that you are in, wherever you lie on the spectrum of a crisis. If nothing else, they have been helpful to me as a stepping stone. After talking to them, I found I could reach out to someone closer to me. Their number is: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). They also have an online chat service, where you put in your zip code and they ask for a name or alias and a little about your situation. They have a “safe space” area on their website to watch calming videos if you experience a wait.

You can also use a text service at 741-741 by sending either “start,” “NAMI,” or “hello.” I would recommend trying this out beforehand in case your phone is like mine and does not support the function.

Additionally, there is the Counseling Center, located in the Quinn Administration Building on the second floor, all the way down the hall past general medicine. You can check the University of Massachusetts Boston website for their office hours. Their phone number is: 617-287-5690. They can also be reached at an after-hours emergency phone number: 855-634-4135.

As of the last six months, one of my newest crisis preventative measures has been to physically stay put. This is equivalent to me sitting on my hands, a demonstration my therapist has engaged in multiple times, until I can resume my activities. In some ways, staying put helps because if I just sit there and notice the world around me, I get bored and naturally will go toward an alternative action such as looking through folders at home or browsing my phone. Staying put can get tricky if I need to be somewhere thereafter—say the Counseling Center or home.

The next time this happens, I can tell someone what I need and be walked there. Some people who could help are Craig Bidiman, the Health and Wellness Promotion Specialist on campus, a friend on campus, a stranger, or a professor. I can also send out a text message to friends not on campus and have them talk with me as I walk there. I could also contact Public Safety, or if it’s not urgent, get in touch with the Dean of Students.

If I am at a train station and reach a crisis, it is possible for me to talk to a crisis-trained MBTA officer. One time I was at South Station and needed someone to walk me to the subway (otherwise I would have bought a method), and so I asked for an officer trained in crisis and explained to them what I needed.

Additionally, when I joined Twitter in May 2017, I found a couple of Twitter accounts that are beneficial. One of them is called Project Buddy, a mental health awareness and suicide prevention organization that aims to spread its message across school systems.

Tiffany Lewis, founder of the Pens for Pals Organization, is also a great resource. Her campaign is about suicide prevention and anti-bullying. She and other volunteers write letters to at-risk individuals worldwide either weekly or bi-weekly. She holds a radio show on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on Clear Source Radio. I am hoping to do a full article on her non-profit in the future, as well as share how she has helped me in the past.