A big concern for many reasons.
Dramatic Conclusions has been involved in suicide prevention for several years and on numerous fronts.
As a Life Coach, I help individuals get past their obstacles and on with their dreams by assisting with goal-setting, self-confidence, forgiveness, self-love, and clarity. For a free 30-minute consultation, email me at:
As a speaker and a writer, I hope to increase awareness of the deadly nature of depression and introduce a new prevention idea that involves high-energy volunteer environments where new purpose and hope is introduced.
Confessions of a Suicide Groupie is an essay I have written on this topic.
Click the following link to read about the new approach and a biographical sketch of my own experience with suicide.
As a Crisis Intervention Specialist volunteer and trainer for Contact Crisis Line
For other help and initiatives, please check out:To Write Love on Her Arms http://twloha.com/
As a screenwriter, I have written a feature film and a one-hour TV pilot that dramatizes a “life-donation” program for those who have attempted suicide or who intend to do so. A treatment of the feature is below. If you would like to read the script, please email me at:email@example.com
Could a “life-transplant” program be a viable alternative to the dismal and alarming waste of human life by self-destruction? Could there be a way for suicidal people, extrinsically motivated by some sort of loss, to step temporarily out of their painful lives and into a meaningful one? What if insurance companies, instead of paying for drugs and therapy, took care of a person’s bills and obligations for a few months while they donated their time as a volunteer in an up-beat respite camp for seriously ill children? What if the opportunity to reconnect to purpose and the juxtaposition of life-saving energy in these volunteer environments reversed a person’s trajectory toward depression and death while benefiting the children as well? What if there was a Club Suicide? If so, would it be immoral for a physician to lure depressed people with a bogus offer of assisted suicide in exchange for a few months of volunteer work?
These are the questions in the mind of the low-key and conservative hospital Chief of Staff, Dr. Don Meier as he visits a hospital chaplain in the intensive care unit after her failed suicide attempt. His modus operandi of staying professionally detached fails in the wake of stark memories of his own teenage son’s suicide and, now, Diane’s radical and seemingly inexplicable change in behavior.
Flashbacks to a recent conversation with Diane, where she traces a history laced with an erroneous belief of culpability for the suicide deaths of several people, and an uncomfortable talk with his wife about their son intimates that Dr. Meier’s professional and personal comfort zones are being challenged. Driven to “fix” the situation, he revisits Diane and makes an offer.
In exchange for an assisted suicide, Dr. Meier secures Diane’s reluctant commitment as his first suicidal volunteer at Camp Hope and enlists her to recruit other candidates on the same terms. He then resigns his post as Chairman of the Board for Camp Hope, and launches an undercover operation to staff the camp with other full-time volunteers who have been plucked from the claws of death.
Diane and Dr. Meier’s first task is to steal a suicide hot-line data base, which, although successful, arouses suspicions that Dr. Meier is having an affair in the mind of his wife, Patsy. Overhearing a tense, late-night conversation with Diane, she assumes the worst and pours out the information to their daughter who, then, spies on her dad’s clandestine activities.
In the meantime, both Diane and Dr. Meier have begun identifying and contacting candidates from the hotline data base. Eugene is among the colorfully, tragic characters. He is a young Afghanistan and Iraqi war veteran with a failed marriage, an amputation, and no will to live. After much doubt, persuasion, and second thoughts on both ends, Eugene signs on for the adventure.
Hospitalized after slitting her wrists, Louise, a red-neck, single mom, angry and desperate over the loss of her children to her ex-husband, also signs on, but not without a dramatic challenge to Diane that threatens to blow Club Suicide’s cover.
In spite of their reservations, Louise, Diane, and Eugene move into Camp Hope and brace for their first meeting with young cancer patients. After the authentic, lively, and unorthodox camp director Justina gives them a no-therapy-available-here orientation and Louise, Eugene, and Diane come to an understanding, they man their cabins and meet the campers.
Angel, a seven-year old with a brain tumor, and five other positive little girls with cancer, quickly win the hearts of Diane and Louise. Eugene’s war-wounds and Marine “muscle” works well for him, endearing his cabin mates and special-needs counselor partner, Thibodeaux, to himself.
The up-beat camp activities (including a Eugene-led, military style hug-raid), the inspiration of the children’s tenacity in the face of their mortality, and the joy of connection to new purpose create life-changing experiences for Diane, Eugene, and Louise.
Dr. Meier begins to breathe more easily about the long-term feasibility of his plan just as a worst-case scenario begins unfolding; the tight bond between Angel and Louise backfires when Angel has a relapse and is rushed to the hospital. Depressed Louise, now feeling disregarded and pushed to the side by camp authorities and Angel’s family, abruptly disappears from the camp, sending a high-alert to the camp board about the dangers of the new suicidal volunteers.
While everyone is searching for Louise suspecting that she may have killed herself, Louise has unsuccessfully attempted to visit Angel in the hospital and is now on a mission to retrieve her assisted suicide from Dr. Meier. Hijinks ensue when she shows up at the home of Dr. Meier.
More confused than ever about the state of “affairs,” Dr. Meier’s wife and daughter drive Louise out to the camp where confrontations, revelations, and reconciliations abound. In the end, Camp Director Justina and Dr. Meier’s wife and daughter embrace the morally risky plan and vow to support Dr. Meier and keep it undercover. Even Louise, learning that she has been summoned to the hospital by Angel’s family, is more hopeful and no longer demands her assisted suicide.
The next day, Diane quells the fears of the board with a convincing speech that urges the multi-use approach of the camp: both for seriously-ill children and for the suicidal people who desperately need them. Then, that evening, at Camp Hope’s last dance where Angel’s passing is honored, Eugene talks with Diane about the uncertainty of Louise’s whereabouts and how the camp has saved his life even though the future of Club Suicide remains undecided.
In a high-energy closing scene, the second week of camp has begun with new Club Suicide volunteers (along with Diane, Eugene, and Louise) welcoming smiling campers to their cabins!