If you’re someone who’s lost a loved one to suicide, memories can surface at the most unexpected times. They can also change, as time goes on.
Talk about a random moment you started thinking about your loss. What prompted the thought? Was it something someone said, or did? Was it an object, or a piece of clothing that reminded you of your loved one? Was it a certain time of year?
Describe the memory. How did it make you feel?
Managing your mental health can be challenging and complicated, but sometimes it’s the simple things that can enable you to cope during a challenging time.
What’s something you like to do when you need to refresh? It could be anything from taking a walk outside, listening to music, practicing meditation or yoga, or anything else! Talk about a time your favorite activity helped you manage your mental health.
Write a letter
Write an imaginary letter to someone involving mental health or suicide. It could be to someone you’ve lost: what would you want to say to them now? You could also write a letter to someone about your own experience with mental health: what is it you’re going through that you wish other people knew? Or, you could write a letter to someone you’re concerned about: what is it you’ve noticed? Do they know you’re there for them?
The creative exercise of writing a letter can help you express your own feelings in a healthy way, or figure out how to say what you want to say to someone in real life.
Physical object exercise
Focus in on a physical object that makes you think about your connection to mental health or suicide – does it remind you of someone? Why? Was it an object that was special to someone you lost? Is it an album you listen to that calms you down when you’re feeling stressed?
Create an essay, poem, video, story, or poem about that object. It could even be from the point of view of the object. Be creative!
Share a conversation you had about mental health
Tell us about a conversation you had about your or someone else’s mental health. Did the topic just happen to come up naturally? What did it reveal about the person’s assumptions about mental health, or your own?
Did you reach out to someone you were concerned about? Or did someone reach out to you? How did it go? What did it make you think, and feel? Get into specifics and explore what was said.
Or – create some dialogue for how you wish the conversation had gone!
Alternatively, what is a conversation you wish you had had? Why?
Talk about your own experience from the POV of your best friend
Share an experience you’ve had, but as though your best friend in the world is telling us about it. You can pick a specific person from your life, or imagine a perfect, ideal best friend – one who understands exactly where you’re coming from, and always has your back.
Does telling the story through their words change how you’re telling it? Are they kinder to you than you might be to yourself? Are they realizing things in telling the story that you might not otherwise have?