The Sanctuary for Independent Media: Alternatives to Suicide

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In this interview, Bosh and Sina speak with Marisa Russello, a writer and mental health advocate who works at the Empowerment Exchange in Troy. We discuss her job where she supports people improving their mental health and wellness, one of the groups she facilitates called Alternatives to Suicide, and her suggestions for talking to people…

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AFSP: Out of the Darkness Walk

Image reads: Join our Out of the Darkness community.

I’ve participated in the Out of the Darkness Walk every year since moving to upstate New York in 2018. I’m just one of the 12.2 million American adults who has suicidal thoughts. In 2022, I was honored to be the guest speaker for Columbia-Greene’s walk.  I’ll be a participant again this fall, and you can find my fundraising…

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How to Talk Like a Normie: A Step-by-Step Guide for the Autistic

Woman shouting into a megaphone with a wry look on her face.

The answer to “How are you?” should never be the truth. When a person greets you, they’re not actually listening. Respond “Fine” or “Good” and reciprocate the question, ignoring their response. On Mondays, the follow up to your greeting should be, “How was your weekend?” When someone asks this, always say, “It was great!” and…

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Talking About Suicide Helps Us Stay Alive

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One winter evening in early 2019, I relaxed on a blue sofa as about six people trickled into a dimly lit room for that night’s peer support meeting, which I was leading. After greeting each other and grabbing coffee or flavored seltzer, everyone joined the circle of comfy couches and chairs. I began the session…

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Stability Leader Profile

Text reads "The Stability Network."

Marisa had quite a start to her first job out of college. After teaching middle school for a week, she began having delusions and paranoia, not recognizing and becoming suspicious of those around her. She later found out she was experiencing an episode of manic psychosis and received a diagnosis of bipolar I with psychotic…

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This Is What a Manic Episode Feels Like

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes unusual mood swings, ranging from extreme highs (known as manic episodes) to extreme lows (called depressive episodes). There are three types of bipolar disorder, bipolar I is marked by full manic episodes while bipolar II is defined by a pattern of depressive and hypomanic—revved up energy,…

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9 Things I Learned in Megan Stielstra’s Memoir Course


When I read The Wrong Way to Save Your Life by Megan Stielstra, I knew I had to apply for her intensive year-long memoir course, the first of its kind offered through Catapult. These intensive “generator” courses are offered every so often for writing memoirs, essay collections, novels, and poetry. There are even generator classes aimed at specific…

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Catapult Audio Showcase

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Our competitive 12-month memoir generator course is designed to help students create and refine a submission-ready draft. Alongside a group of talented peers and under the guidance of an accomplished mentor, writers spend a year together building their books from the ground up. As part of their graduation showcase, our 2021 generator students have been…

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