There are high costs to falling behind and losing hope in the United States. The starkest marker of these costs is the increase in premature mortality due to preventable deaths. In the U.S., suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, making it a significant part of the equation. While these deaths are most prevalent among uneducated middle-aged whites in rural areas, suicide rates have risen across a wide range of ages, races, and places. To begin to understand how to address the problem, it is clear that there needs to be open discussion about suicide without judgement, shame, or discrimination.
On February 5, the Brookings Institution screened “The S Word,” a documentary that seeks to amplify the voices of those living after suicide attempts and loss and raise awareness about suicide prevention and resources. The filmmakers hope to encourage people to think about suicide in a completely different way—highlighting the complexity, pain, and even humor of our survivors.
Following the screening, Brookings hosted a panel discussion about the making of the movie, well-being and desperation in America, and finding viable solutions to reducing suicide rates.
Photos from the LiveThroughThis project, which explores the stories of suicide attempt survivors, were on display.