The Leather Alliance and the Stop AIDS Project crisis information:
IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE CRISIS, Please Call the following numbers.
|San Francisco 24 hour Suicide Prevention||415-781-0500|
|Alameda County 24 hour Crisis Line||800-309-2131|
|San Jose and Silicon Valley Contact Cares 24 hour Crisis Line||408-279-8228|
|San Francisco General Hospital||415-206-8125|
|Stop AIDS Project||415-575-0150|
|Linea De Apoyo||415-989-5212|
|Mobile Crisis Treatment Team||415-355-8300|
|Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention||415-752-3778|
|Child (Under 21) Crisis Services 24/7 Hotline||415-970-3800|
|Westside Crisis Clinic||415-355-0311 Ext. 5|
|The Trevor Lifeline||866-488-7386|
Suicide prevention tip #1: Speak up if you are worried
Talking to a friend or family member about their suicidal thoughts and feelings can be extremely difficult for anyone. But if you’re unsure whether someone is suicidal, the best way to find out is to ask. You can’t make a person suicidal by showing that you care. In fact, giving a suicidal person the opportunity to express his or her feelings can provide relief from loneliness and pent-up negative feelings, and may prevent a suicide attempt.
Ways to start a conversation about suicide:
I have been feeling concerned about you lately.
Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.
I wanted to check in with you because you haven’t seemed yourself lately.
Questions you can ask:
When did you begin feeling like this?
Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?
How can I best support you right now?
Have you thought about getting help?
What you can say that helps:
You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.
You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.
I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold off for just one more day, hour, minute — whatever you can manage.
When talking to a suicidal person
Suicide prevention tip #2: Respond quickly in a crisis
If a friend or family member tells you that he or she is thinking about death or suicide, it’s important to evaluate the immediate danger the person is in. Those at the highest risk for committing suicide in the near future have a specific suicide PLAN, the MEANS to carry out the plan, a TIME SET for doing it, and an INTENTION to do it.
The following questions can help you assess the immediate risk for suicide:
Do you have a suicide plan? (PLAN)
Do you have what you need to carry out your plan (pills, gun, etc.)? (MEANS)
Do you know when you would do it? (TIME SET)
Do you intend to commit suicide? (INTENTION)
If a suicide attempt seems imminent, call a local crisis center, dial 911, or take the person to an emergency room. Remove guns, drugs, knives, and other potentially lethal objects from the vicinity but do not, under any circumstances, leave a suicidal person alone.
Suicide prevention tip #3: Offer help and support
If a friend or family member is suicidal, the best way to help is by offering an empathetic, listening ear. Let your loved one know that he or she is not alone and that you care. Don’t take responsibility, however, for making your loved one well. You can offer support, but you can’t get better for a suicidal person. He or she has to make a personal commitment to recovery.
It takes a lot of courage to help someone who is suicidal. Witnessing a loved one dealing with thoughts about ending his or her own life can stir up many difficult emotions. As you’re helping a suicidal person, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Find someone that you trust—a friend, family member, clergyman, or counselor—to talk to about your feelings and get support of your own.
Helping a suicidal person:
Get professional help. Do everything in your power to get a suicidal person the help he or she needs. Call a crisis line for advice and referrals. Encourage the person to see a mental health professional, help locate a treatment facility, or take them to a doctor’s appointment.
Follow-up on treatment. If the doctor prescribes medication, make sure your friend or loved one takes it as directed. Be aware of possible side effects and be sure to notify the physician if the person seems to be getting worse. It often takes time and persistence to find the medication or therapy that’s right for a particular person.
Be proactive. Those contemplating suicide often don’t believe they can be helped, so you may have to be more proactive at offering assistance. Saying, “Call me if you need anything” is too vague. Don’t wait for the person to call you or even to return your calls. Drop by, call again, invite the person out.
Encourage positive lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet, plenty of sleep, and getting out in the sun or into nature for at least 30 minutes each day. Exercise is also extremely important as it releases endorphins, relieves stress, and promotes emotional well-being.
Make a safety plan. Help the person develop a set of steps he or she promises to follow during a suicidal crisis. It should identify any triggers that may lead to a suicidal crisis, such as an anniversary of a loss, alcohol, or stress from relationships. Also include contact numbers for the person’s doctor or therapist, as well as friends and family members who will help in an emergency.
Remove potential means of suicide, such as pills, knives, razors, or firearms. If the person is likely to take an overdose, keep medications locked away or give out only as the person needs them.
Continue your support over the long haul. Even after the immediate suicidal crisis has passed, stay in touch with the person, periodically checking in or dropping by. Your support is vital to ensure your friend or loved one remains on the recovery track.
Adapted from: Metanoia.org
WHAT IS A KINKY OUTCAST?
It’s someone who feels like they don’t fit in because of their kink lifestyle. Many people find kinky sex and other “out of the ordinary” activities enjoyable. But we know that some kinksters worry that people think they’re strange and they don’t have anyone to socialize with, talk with about their particular fetishes or that people will judge them unfairly.
At one time or another, almost everyone feels like he or she doesn’t fit in. Whether one is gay, straight, bisexual, kinky, poly or some combination of any of these or other things, everyone has moments when the think they’ll never find happiness.
Our goal, and the goal of the Leather Alliance, is to help find groups and resources for someone who is kinky, regardless of age, gender or sexuality. This has been produced with further assistance from the Stop AIDS Project, a program of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, so we will also including information about them and other sex resources.
THE KINK COMMUNITY
In the Bay Area, we’re lucky to have a diverse array of kinky people. We also have a number of groups and clubs that have formed around kink and kinky sex. We get together to have fun and show off for each other. We’re proud of who we are and some of these groups get together to plan larger events such as the Leather Alliance.
The Bay Area has a number of people who are supportive of individual kinks and provide non-judgmental therapy.
|William (Bill) Henkin||415-923-1150||www.drhenkin.com|