Alternatives to Suicide Update!

by Michelle, group facilitator

When I took the training to facilitate an Alternatives to Suicide group back in November, with the Western Mass RLC, I had no idea how many people would be interested. I also had no idea how much of a resource it would become for me on a personal level.

Brattleboro Alternatives to Suicide has been meeting every Wednesday evening since December. In our group, everyone has a voice. As the facilitator, my job is really to just unlock the door and introduce the group. I am there to get support and be supportive just like everyone else in the room.

Some of the core values in our charter are:
– No ‘red tape’ or ‘hoops’ for anyone attending
– Each person is honored as the expert of their own experiences
– Freedom to challenge social norms is present and openly explored
– No assumption is made that suicidal thoughts are connected to ‘mental illness’

People speak up when they want to see a change in the group and we talk about it as a community. We recently decided to make this group a half hour longer. It started out being just an hour long because I definitely was not expecting attendance to be so high. (9 or 10 people at several of our recent groups!)

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