After my boyfriend, Timmi, of one and a half years, took his own life in June of 2012, I found comfort in Samaritans’ SafePlace meetings in Boston and Medford. The peer-to-peer support I found at SafePlace had a profound positive effect on managing my grief. It also inspired me to start a Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) chapter in Revere.
Starting the DBSA group in Revere was rooted in my hope to help prevent suicide for my peers as well as myself. While the causes of suicide are complex, people with bipolar disorder often struggle with suicidal thoughts. My bipolar disorder was diagnosed in 1999 when I was 35 years old after a very successful career in aerospace, as a mechanical engineer with an MBA. DBSA is integral in managing my wellness and founding my chapter in Revere is one of the best things I could have done for myself and my community.
Sadly, I have lost too many people very dear to me to suicide: my beloved father, cousin, boyfriend, and high school friend. There also have been many more acquaintances who have died by suicide. After each of my losses, I am left feeling guilty thinking that I “should have” or “could have” done something. People’s desire for suicidal action is often fleeting and can be prevented by seeking help. One resource for people in Massachusetts is Samaritans’ 24/7 Helpline.
Another way to prevent suicide and reach more people outside of my DBSA group is walking in the Samaritans 5K. It is gratifying to know that I am making a difference in suicide prevention by raising money for this great cause. I appreciate the Samaritans for being there at the time of tremendous grief when Timmi took his life. I hope you will support me in raising funds for Samaritans and their suicide prevention work.
Together, there is help, there is hope —
Kimmi and DBSA members