STEPHEN LAUREL “tWITCH ” BOSS
Sep. 29, 1982 – Dec. 13, 2022
I have been trying to write about tWitch for several hours. The news early this morning felt like a sledgehammer hit my chest. Though my heart is broken; as a Suicide Prevention Advocate I read & saw way too many disturbing things for me to stay silent.
* tWitch was NOT “Ellen’s sidekick”. He was an internationally acclaimed dancer long before the masses “discovered” him.
* Now is not the time for (insensitive) theories.
* YES. Black people DO die by suicide
* OUR numbers are increasing…as young as 10 yrs. old. We are often underrepresented in the stats.
* Your friends/family are watching how you respond to the news. It plays a role in whether or not they deem YOU a safe place to land.
* There is no one reason why people die by suicide. What APPEARS to be a “perfect” life to you; may not be a shared perspective.
* There is a media toolkit in place for BEST practices in reporting suicide. https://www.suicidereportingtoolkit.com/. It is not necessary to disclose the method.
* PLEASE save suicide crisis hotlines and referral information for DIFFERENT populations IN your phone. For ex. info for African Americans, Hearing Impaired, Teens, Vets, LGBTQ, Trans communities etc. Put it in your note section and pin it. Email it to yourself. Screenshot it and save it in your favorites album so if/when something happens you can find it easily without getting flustered.
* Don’t promise your friend the world and don’t guilt trip them for ex. “Stay for your kids etc or your family needs you.” A lot suicidal people already feel like the world will be better without them.
* Be honest about what you can and cannot do. Be honest what you do and do not know. “I want to help but I’m not sure how to handle this kind of stuff. Maybe WE can call a hotline together or call your mom/Pastor/Dr together?”
* More listening, less talking and NO assuming.
* Get trained. https://afsp.org/talk-saves-lives is a great place to start.
* 988 (call, text or chat)
* Outside the U.S. visit: List of Worldwide Suicide Hotlines | https://www.suicidestop.com/call_a_hotline.html
* Mobile Crisis Units are an option
• Self care is NON-negotiable. Take care of yourself. Love you to LIFE💫e