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Pennsylvania Adult/Older Adult Suicide Prevention Coalition

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Peer Support Resources

Feeling suicidal is like being in a dark enclosed room, with the walls pushing in on you, and seeing no means of escape. Feeling suicidal is feeling hopeless. Trapped. 


If you have felt this way, you are not alone.


There are people who have escaped the trap, though. There are people who have had hope restored to them.


There are many mutual and self-help tools that suicide attempt survivors have found helpful. Every person is unique, and not all tools work for everyone. However, there are three tools in particular in Pennsylvania that some people have found helpful.


1. Peer Support

One of these tools is peer support. Talking to other people who’ve experienced the isolation and hopelessness can help. It could be as simple as going to coffee with a friend who understands. It could be calling a warmline to chat with a peer. Or it could be seeing a peer support specialist to talk with a peer in a service setting.


2. Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)

Another tool is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). WRAP was designed by Mary Ellen Copeland, along with some of her peers. Mary Ellen knew about life challenges and hopelessness. She developed WRAP as a tool to empower herself, and then shared her tool with others. WRAP plans let you learn about yourself and do things for yourself to get and stay well. Because it’s action-oriented, WRAP can help some people alleviate feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.


3. Mental Health Advance Directive

A third tool is a mental health advance directive. A mental health advance directive lets you make decisions for yourself before you go to the hospital. By completing a mental health advance directive, you increase your chances of being treated in a way that’s helpful to you, if the hopelessness gets so overwhelming that you end up in a hospital.


Recovering from the pain that caused your suicidal feelings is a long journey. It’s not easy. And not every tool works for every person. But recovery is possible. Moving forward is possible.


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