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One hello says a million words, and can scare a million hearts for a million different reasons. That's why millions of people in crisis may never — no, will never — pick up a phone, too scared, too pained, too absolutely unable to even speak. Too afraid of the voice on the other end. Will it be judgmental? Dismissive? Perky and dripping with misguided "but-you've-got-so-much-to-live-for"? Or worse yet, bored?
Now imagine just one of those same scared, pained, speechless hearts, online, seeking out someone, anyone who might begin to understand what they're feeling. Through the powerful social media presence of To Write Love on Her Arms, PostSecret.com and The Kristin Brooks Hope Center, they find IMAlive.
And they find the strength and the courage to respond to a blinking cursor typing:
"I AM HERE FOR YOU NOW."
"I HAVE BEEN WHERE YOU ARE. I SURVIVED. I CAN HELP YOU."
What difference might that make in just one life? What difference might that make in hundreds, thousands, millions of lives? Lives that might otherwise be lost forever to suicide?
The Kristin Brooks Hope Center — founder of 1-800-SUICIDE — has partnered with To Write Love on Her Arms and PostSecret.com to develop IMAlive, the first live online crisis network with 100 percent of its staff certified and trained in crisis prevention. If The Kristin Brooks Hope Center wins the $250,000 prize, 100 percent of the proceeds will go directly toward IMAlive.
Please vote — and soon — by clicking any of the links in this post, and you can help someone be able to say "I'm alive," because they sought and found help, and didn't follow the dark shadows in their hearts.
I know. Because even though I once followed my dark shadows, thankfully they didn't win.
The Kristin Brooks Hope Center is a non-profit organization founded in 1988 after the tragic death of the founder's wife, Kristen, by suicide. From the beginning, Reese Butler and the Hope Center have been dedicated to suicide prevention by providing easy access to a large network of crisis line workers, while helping to break down the stigma and other barriers to accessing help and hope. For more information, visit hopeline.com.