Self-Care and Suicide Prevention -Brianna Sasao

A few weeks ago, I went to a self-care summit hosted by Cal Poly’s SAFER organization. This summit strived to provide a calm, therapeutic experience for students who attended, and help give people tools to deal with trauma, mental health, stress, and more. One thing I learned was that methods of self care can work better when they are tangible, creative, or collaborative. For instance, I was encouraged to write down a list of my favorite activities to destress and clear my mind. Some of the things on here could be hiking, lighting a candle, doing a face mask, driving, or painting. This inspired my self-care intervention that I decided to do with a friend who struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. This friend had told me recently that he couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and had no vision for his future anymore. So, for both of us to practice a self-care activity that is tangible, creative, and collaborative, we sat down and started writing realistic bucket lists about (each other’s) futures. It started simple with things like “Eat buffalo wings,” and I wrote down what I hoped for in his future and he wrote down what he hoped for in mine. It then transitioned to us asking each other “What’s the next thing you’re excited for in life?” and slowly unfolding the future. Eventually we got to the big things like travelling the world, our careers, weddings, and more. I hope that this self-care intervention helped my friend see his all that his future has to offer him in life, but even if it didn’t we still had a good time and made a new memory. For me, this experience helped me be more optimistic about my goals, closer to my friend, and it helped show me the importance of taking a minute to slow down and do something productive for myself and someone I care about. I’m not an expert on self-care or suicide prevention, but I would recommend to anyone who needs help with those that they speak what they want to do or see in life into fruition. I will probably write down more things I want to try to destress, be active, and take care of my mental health after this intervention.┬áIt’s not going to cure all your problems but there’s no harm in trying!

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