“Radical Self-Reliance” Is Killing People.
Kitty Stryker

The themes of this essay resonate so much with me. I am an attempt survivor, and I believe that suicide is a political and social question as much as it is a health question. I think the mental health system winds up being a poor stand in for true community, and unfortunately teaches people to become dependent on it instead of being dependent on each other, which is what a healthy society would look like. There are people out there who are trying to change this, however. I will be training in a few weeks to become a peer counselor with the Western Massachusetts Learning Recovery Community, an amazing group of people who understands that to solve the suicide epidemic nothing short of a radical shift in our understanding of community is needed. I am hoping that by bringing their “Alternatives to Suicide” peer support program to Boston, I can help this movement away from isolation, “self-reliance” and despair, and begin building the community we so desperately lack.