Call 988 in Crisis: The Importance of Normalizing Conversations Around Suicide with Lisa Sugarman

Date: july 5,2024 Duration: 38 min

**Trigger Warning: Suicide**

The following content discusses topics related to suicide. This may be distressing or triggering for some individuals. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please seek help from a mental health professional or contact a crisis hotline immediately.


Sharing creates a community and an environment where people don’t feel judged.

Lisa Sugarman is an author, syndicated columnist, three-time survivor of loss from suicide. She’s also a storyteller with NAMI, and a crisis counselor with the Trevor Project. Lisa shares her personal story of losing her father, cousin, and childhood friend. Lisa didn’t know her father had taken his life until she was 45, the same age he was when he died. The specific kind of grief she experienced prompted Lisa to learn all she could about mental health and share her experiences to help others.

While Lisa is an empath and a highly sensitive person, her work as a counselor in Lifeline is not negatively affecting her. Rather, it has empowered her more! Lisa shares tips on how to deal with people in crisis and how to help them manage the tough feelings they’re experiencing.

The decision to take one’s life stems from horrible suffering, often endured silently. Listening to people’s stories, doing all you can to understand them, and holding a safe space to express their problems can help tremendously.

It’s so important to bring uncomfortable subjects to the surface and into the mainstream so we can normalize conversations around mental illness, suicide, and crisis.

Show notes:

☹️ Lisa is a Crisis counselor: she lost her father, cousin, and childhood friend to suicide. 01:47

🤩 Storytelling, writing, and being a listener to help suicidal people. 03:18

⚠️ Understanding the power of sharing your story as a suicide loss survivor: suicide loss is a specific kind of trauma. 07:07

👂 There is no fix for grief but holding space gives empowerment. 11:03

😭 The way Lisa found out her dad took his life: the different kind of grief. 12:35

👩‍👧 Mother’s protection and family dynamics after the suicide. 15:43

🦸 Crisis counselors are unsung heroes: meeting people in their most raw realness. 20:23

🗣️ Using blunt language with a person who is in pain or potentially suicidal. 24:04

☎️ Lifelines are needed for every crisis and should be used regularly: call 988. 29:40

🌺 Lisa creates short videos and writes the column We Are Who We Are: creating recourses and making them available for everyone. 32:18.

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