Let's come together in our 1st official act as the peer-support warriors of the FFL Forum, by releasing a video montage comprised of our diverse, brave, emboldened faces, voices, & artwork conveying a unified & most powerful message to raise awareness, smash the stigma, & "END THE SILENCE"!
What is the Initiative & What Role Do I Play?
This forum, meet-up and safe-space is built upon our proprietary Friends For Life peer-to-peer gatekeeping support modelbased on a foundational guiding principle of absolute confidence in the unparalleled passion, ability and desire of the global youth population to build a kinder, more #emotionally intelligent, equal, ethical & authentic world: a world where suicide is not the 2nd leading cause of death in people 10-34 years old, causing more deaths annually than any physical disease in our generation's population!
That is why, for our very first public action initiative as a PEER-TO-PEER SUPPORT PLATFORM, the FRIENDS FOR LIFE FORUM, MEET-UP, and SAFE SPACE would like to stay true to our guiding principle by placing YOU ALL AT THE CENTER of the initiative and also invite any interested member to take up a LEADERSHIP ROLE (see more below).
We excitedly invite you to join us to be part of a powerful video montage showcasing all our amazing supporters from around the world coming together in one artistically produced video that conveys a simple yet powerful message in three simple and likely familiar words: “END THE SILENCE.”
How to Participate:
To participate simply submit a photo, 3-5 second video looking into the camera and either holding a sign, editing the photo with the words, or in a video cli, speaking the words “END THE SILENCE.” The deadline for submission is about 3 months from now but read the goals of the video below and if you’re as excited as we are after reading them, just grab your phone now and be part of this initiative within the next five minutes!
What Will This Video Accomplish (Goal of Initiative)?
1. What will this video accomplish? Each submission will go such a long way in helping raise awareness, smash the stigma, and END THE SILENCE by showing how many of us are bravely stand in the sun, proud of who we are and what we have survived and, for many of us, continue to contend with many if not every day. Talk about true strength and grit.
2. Why video format and why so personal (is there an alternative)? People may be able to toss aside statistics or write-off other representations of this crisis, and we believe this is in large part because it is easy to disassociate the catastrophic numbers, we hear from the actual human toll being caused. So, we’ve decided on making a video showcasing dozens upon dozens of the diverse faces of our community from across the globe, individuals bravely stepping-up to. showcase their humanity, because when viewers witnessing the video, the tangible human toll will be unavoidable, impossible to simply toss aside and go on ignoring or worse yet, stigmatizing. Viewers will be shocked by the vulnerability strewn across grown men’s faces, because we live in a culture wherein men aren’t allowed to show such emotion. Parent’s will no longer be able to put off this issue when they see the innocence absent behind the eyes of a girl not yet 11, a girl that looks just like their daughter or one of her best friends. Note there is an option to submit an anonymous version explained below. *
3. How will the video impact the stigma, silencing and inaction surrounding youth mental health & suicide?The more of us who can stand proudly as our authentic selves, NOT ONLY NOT ASHAMED of our mental health struggles but RATHER, PROUD OF ALL OF THE TIMES WE HAVE FALLEN & REFUSE TO STAY DOWN—a strength that frankly few who don’t struggle with mental illness will ever have to develop— will demonstrate to those who would continue to perpetuate the lethal stigma that is in large part responsible for the self-harming and suicide robbing us and the world of our brothers and sisters, that we will not be forced into the shadows they are trying to back us into.
4. How is this related to the peer-to-peer forum: Last but certainly not least, the final goal we hope to achieve is to offer hope and a safe path forward via this peer-to-peer platform for our peers who have not been able †ø travel as far along their healing pathway as some of us have. Those who feel completely alone in their struggle and are beginning to contemplate or have already attempted suicide, believing it is genuinely their only way out. Perhaps more than any of the above, we hope this video will allow us to act as PROACTIVE STEWARDS OF THE SAFETY OF OUR MOST AT-RISK PEERS, by publicly, proudly, lovingly demonstrating that struggling with mental illness and suicide IS NOT A WEAKNESS, LAZINESS, A CHARACTER FLAW, A BURDEN ON OTHERS, & CERTAINLY, IT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT ONE MUST CARRY ALONE! Our video will instead demonstrate how ONE CAN STAND PROUD IN THEIR AUTHETNIC TRUTH, whatever that truth may be, UNSILENCED, UNABASHED, and most of all, GENUINLY and DESERVEDLY PROUD. Why PROUD: for despite your life circumstances, emotions and or your own mind trying to convince you, in some cases on a daily and for a lifelong basis, your submission, showcasing your face or playing your unique voice for the world to hear, is PROOF POSITIVE that you are STILL HERE, because each day, no matter how hard you get knocked down or how deep you must dig to find it, you continue to choose HOPE and LIFE each time-I personally can’t think of anything worth being more proud of and I promise you, your submission, let alone the compilation of dozens of such submissions has the power to give hope to some of our most at risk peers who LIGHT THIS WORLD SIMPLY CANNOT DO WITHOUT!
The best part of this initiative is that it achieves so many amazing missions simultaneously: Whether you’re doing it to raise general mental health awareness, smash the stigma, and END THE SILENCE, whether you’re doing it to help educate and hopefully open-the minds and hearts of those currently perpetuating this crisis, whether you doing this for that at-risk peer that could easily be your best friend or someone else you care dearly about, or whether you’re DOING IT FOR YOU because you DESEREVE TO BE DAMN PROUD of the fact that your STILL FIGHTING, THE FIGHT, we sure hope to see your submission ASAP!
WE ARE PEERS and A TEAM, ALL PEER MENTAL HEALTH WARRIORS armed with passion and good intent, whatever your skills set are encouraged to reach out to join the leadership team of this initiative. ANYONE WITH BACKGROUND IN VIDEO/PHOTO/PRODUCTION/EDITING: even if the time you have to offer is limited due to other commitments, any editing/production time donated by a skilled or semi-experienced producer could help us put together a truly professional and powerful final product that could take this project to a whole other level, so please consider reaching out if this is your wheelhouse! But again, all skill sets will be valued and put to excellent use!
*If you would prefer your submission not reveal your identity you can submit a piece of artwork that excludes, you’re an identifying feature such as your face or voice and your contribution will still be incredibly powerful by play its own unique role in conveying the message, especially the more creative you can be in your expression if the message. You can use any medium from hand drawn submissions to computer-rendered images or anything else you can think up (ultimately please submit the highest quality photo of the artwork as the final submission).