Thursday, September 11, 2014

Suck It Suicide - Spreading Awareness and Supporting Survivors for Two Years

Suicide is quite possibly one of the worst ways to lose someone. Perhaps one of the reasons is because those left behind feel like it could have been prevented. They feel like they could have done or said something to help the person. Or they feel like the person could have done something to help themselves. There's counselling, medication, support, and countless other ways to deal with depression and mental illness. However, some people just don't see any another way to fix things. One strong and amazing local lady had seen one too many people around her choose suicide as a way out. She decided it was time to do something about it. 

Chances are that you have seen a person or two around town wearing a Suck It Suicide shirt. But, it is more than a cute logo on a shirt or a witty phrase. Suck It Suicide is part of a non-profit organization. Their goal is to spread suicide awareness and support the loved ones left behind after one chooses to end their own life. For two years now they have been helping people through support and education. This Saturday they are going to celebrate all that they have achieved so far, while also remembering a recently fallen friend. Before Saturday's festivities we wanted to catch up with Founder Katie Hardy to find out more about this great organization. 

HID- Describe Suck It Suicide in one sentence. 
Katie- "SIS is part of the non profit Six Feet Over and works to create a dialog amongst the music, art, and non traditional and mainstream community while raising money for those who have lost someone to suicide."

HID- Why did you start this organization?
Katie- "I started it because I've lost so many to suicide. My mother was the first of eight losses I've had to suicide, in 2003. I found out quickly that people in my community of "non-mainstream" people were not talking about what we could do to curb suicide, help mental illness, or how to support each other. I also found that a lot of people were suffering because they thought their mental illness was a muse, and that if they got help their creativity would be lost. Some just weren't aware of the resources available to them. After losing so many friends and raising money for their funerals, it occurred to me that many others also struggle with these financial burdens and someone needed to step up and be that resource."

HID- This weekend is the 2 Year Anniversary of Suck It Suicide. What are some of the highlights or greatest accomplishments over the past 2 years?
Katie- "We've had some stellar experiences. The amount if support we have gotten from all walks of life has been really cool. Our recent experience at Dally in the Alley and the overwhelming interest and donations from that event have been awesome. There are two things that stick out the most though. Getting our official 501(c)3 last month and an email I received about six months ago. The email was from a guy who said we saved his life. He said that he hopped on the interwebs to look up ways to kill himself. He typed in "suicide" and we came up. Looking through our stupid memes and posts he forgot what his intention was and survived the night. He now has an online newsletter called that talks about mental illness and suicide."

HID- Do you have any advice for someone that might be thinking suicide is the answer to their problems?
Katie- "I have a few pieces of advice, but I would never say I have all the answers. If I did, suicide and mental illness would be a thing in our history books. 1) Finding the right mix of therapies is like Cinderella's slipper. It's not one size fits all and it may take a while to find out what works for you. Be it holistic, prescription, counseling and/or a mix of them. Don't give up. 2) There are resources available to you. The internet is an amazing place to start. 3) The friends that keep asking if you're ok... they actually want to know. They care. Let them in and let them give you the support you need."

HID- What about friends or family that think a loved one might be suicidal?
Katie- "As an 8 time survivor of suicide loss and an advocate, I think it's important for everyone to know the warning signs. We teach CPR, what to look for when someone is having a heart attack or stroke, but not a whole lot of people are aware of the symptoms relating to suicidal ideologies. Here they are:
-Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves
-Searching for ways to kill themselves (looking online or buying a gun)
-Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
-Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
-Talking about being a burden to others
-Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
-Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
-Sleeping too little or too much
-Withdrawing or isolating themselves
-Showing rage or talking about revenge
-Displaying extreme mood swings

Some other things to know: if you are really worried about someone, you can call the non-emergency number of the police station near where your loved one lives. Give them the address and ask them to do a wellness check. They will simply go to their house and make sure they are ok. They won't "cart them off", but they will take them to get psychiatric help if they are showing signs of intent to harm themselves. Otherwise they just check and leave. Don't worry about them getting mad at you. I know I'd rather have a pissed off mom than a dead one. Lastly, it may seem like they don't want you or your help, but they need you. Keep doing what you're doing, you're doing a great job."

HID- Let's talk about this weekend's event! It sounds like a great time. Can you tell us about the bands playing and your MCs for the event?
Katie- "All the bands volunteered to play and we are happy to have them! Some I know personally like SUB, Dad 1000, and George Heritier who was a friend of my mothers and I refer to as Uncle Pizza. The other bands Rut Strutter, Sros Lords, and Notes and Leaves I'm excited to hear for the first time and I've heard great things! George will be playing acoustic on the patio in his humorous folk style that I grew up around. The other bands will be playing inside and kicking everyone's ear balls into submission. Our MCs are comics that have been supportive of SIS in the past. Ray Hollifield and Laura Witkowski held an all comedy fundraiser for us last January and it was amazing. These are two funny people who will bring a lot of laughter to your night."

HID- You also mentioned a raffle on the event page. What are some prizes that people can win?
Katie- "We haven't completed our raffle inventory yet and we are still collecting donations, but people should expect a ton of tattoo/piercing gift certificates and probably some art. I'll be raffling some SIS shirts and a hoodie for sure."

HID- Last, but not least, part of the proceeds of this event will be going to Stop the Clot. Tell us about that organization and why you decided to help them.
Katie- "Without going into too much detail, a blood clot was involved in Mark's death [Mark Shives, a friend of SIS] and may have triggered abnormal brain activity. His parents respectfully declined any donation for funeral costs and instead asked us to donate part of our proceeds to Some people may wonder why I am willing to donate our funds to another organization not usually associated with mental illness or suicide. What I'd like for those people to know is that any way that we can help Mark's family grieve, heal and feel peace is part of our mission. We are here to do many things and supporting the survivors in any way we can is a core part of our organization."

HID- Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
Katie- "We are not a normal non profit. We encourage a dialog and create support by any means necessary. This means that we generally try to add humor, a relaxed atmosphere, and an old fashioned good time to all of our events and activities. Do not expect a somber night on Saturday when attending our fundraiser. If that's what you're looking for, great, but you won't find it here! There will be drinking, jokes and somebody will probably take their pants off. It's just the kind of group we are."

The Suck It Suicide 2 Year Anniversary show is this Saturday, September 13th at Northern Lights Lounge. The lineup for the night includes SUBDad 1,000Rut StrutterSros LordsNotes & Leaves and George Heritier. Doors open at 9 p.m. and there is a minimum of $5 donation to get in. Northern Lights Lounge is located at 660 Baltimore St. in Detroit. 

We can't end this post without saying this... Please remember, there is always another option. If suicide ever crosses your mind, talk to someone, whether it is a friend, a doctor, or a complete stranger. Nothing is impossible or insurmountable. Somehow, some way, things will eventually get better. And someone out there does care about you and their life will be shattered if you are no longer a part of it. Also, if you suspect that someone you care about might be considering suicide, do something about it! Even if you think you are overreacting. It might just save their life.



  1. Just a poor logo all around. Very depressing looking...and don't say that's the point because as someone who's battled depression, I can tell you that this is on the side of inappropriate.

  2. Such an amazing organization that resonates love and understanding...great article