Social media campaign plans to #raiseHOPE before World Suicide Prevention Day 2014

Already aware of the campaign? Scroll down for instructions on how to participate.

photo 4Survivors of suicide are using social media to #raiseHOPE in the lead up to World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, 2014. From September 1 to 10, friends and families will take to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram to honour their loved ones lost to suicide, and to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

Participants are invited to write how their loved one inspired them on a piece of card, before completing on a second card: “Through my lived experience I now understand…” Participants then take a photograph of both cards and post it to social media with the hashtag #raiseHOPE.

Launching the campaign is mother, author and mental health advocate, Lynn Keane, who lost her son Daniel to suicide. Keane says, “The world’s attention is focused on suicide as a result of the tragic death of Robin Williams, and the often-graphic reporting that accompanied it. Those of us with first-hand experience of suicide have an opportunity to lead the conversation and raise awareness for suicide prevention while paying homage to our loved ones.”

The initiative has already received accolades on Twitter from CASP CA and Mood Disorders Canada. Support continues throughout the world. Chris Brown of Grassroots Suicide Prevention said, “Through lived experience we can learn profound lessons about suicide and its prevention. Grassroots Suicide Prevention is proud to support #raiseHOPE as it is vital that people with lived experience have a voice with which to raise awareness and help prevent suicide.”

Such a message is essential: suicide is the second leading cause of death for Canadian youth – the third highest rate in the industrialized world. Depression is forecast to be the second leading cause of disability by 2020. Less than a quarter of children affected by mental health problems will have access to the services they need.

All photos submitted with #raiseHOPE will be collated and posted with the link being shared on social media.

Anyone wishing to #raiseHOPE can do so by following these instructions:
1. On large white card, a chalkboard or whiteboard, share something your loved one did to inspire you.
2. On a second card finish this sentence: “Through my lived experience I now understand…” This knowledge will help educate others about Suicide Prevention.
3. Tape the cards one above the other and take a photo.
4. Share your photo on Twitter and Facebook & Instagram with the hashtag #raiseHope. Retweet and Like other raiseHOPE photos. All photos will be shared on social media and online.

For further information about how your organisation can #raiseHOPE, contact: Lynn Keane, lkeane@cogeco.ca
For media enquiries, contact: Zoe Grams, zoe@zgcommunications.com, +1 604 500 3822