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A community edited suicide prevention campaign
5 points by brianmcconnell on Jan 17, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 3 comments
I first met Aaron at an O'Reilly meetup nearly ten years ago. He was just a kid then, but even then stood out. The tragedy of his suicide is that it could have been prevented.

To this end, I am jump starting a community edited suicide prevention campaign, Why You Shouldn't Commit Suicide, that addresses the subject of suicide in a frank, direct manner, without medicalizing the subject, and offers practical advice toward getting help.

Being old enough to remember the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when there was no treatment, the only thing that worked was prevention. It worked best when it broke taboos and treated the reader like an adult. AIDS prevention campaigns prevented hundreds of thousands of new infections in the US alone.

The project starts with a storyboard/narrative, which can be adapted to many audiences, languages, etc. If you know talented audio/visual artists, please share this with them and encourage them to contribute.


Roughly 100 people take their lives every day in the US, worldwide, who knows how many. This needs to stop.

I would also suggest that people in the YC community think about building communication tools that can be used for suicide prevention. IM is less intimidating than a phone call, and allows for location tracking, so there's also an opportunity to develop new tools. Stopping a suicide is simply a matter of getting the person to stop for a moment and then talk to someone. That's all it takes in many cases.

Brian McConnell

I gave you an upvote but I think you're sabotaging your efforts by making it about github instead of about saving lives.

You'd be much better off with google docs which people can edit if they can click a link, has versioning, and allows anonymity for people who feel comfortable enough to contribute but don't want to be public about it, which by default is probably going to be most people who have tried and thought about suicide within the last couple years.

Thanks for the suggestion. I am not hung up on using a specific system (I am quizzing friends about what's the best git-like system for digital media projects, as I know artists are like to get hung up using git), but needed to start somewhere. Appreciate the feedback.

You could just maintain a repository yourself privately.

Getting people to email you a contribution would make it extremely accessible and you might even be able to automate it with mailgun or something.

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