Shame on Us: Suicide Prevention Advocacy Has Finally Lost It

Gabriel Nathan
8 min readJul 30, 2022
My 10-year-old son edited this. I think he’s pretty cool. I also think he knows more about suicide prevention and awareness than some adults I’ve seen lately online.

I have never been more ashamed, embarrassed, and repulsed about being a suicide awareness advocate in America than I am today.

Suicide prevention and awareness-raising has become, instead of a game of kick-the-can, which it often has been, far worse than that: a venture for maligning crisis workers, pitting advocates against each other, insulting suicide loss survivors, and politicizing what I had naively believed to be a-political: preventing people from killing themselves.

Silly me. I had forgotten, briefly, that this was America.

Two weeks ago, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline underwent a numeric change, from 1–800–273-TALK (8255) to 988. It, apparently, isn’t the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline anymore, either. Now, it’s “988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.”

Nice logo.. number, name, etc, guys.

The organization’s logo colors also changed from, like, lime-green, white, and black to navy blue and white. From everything that I have observed since July 16, one could legitimately wonder if more thought went into its logo and colors than went into the strategy, planning, and implementation, marketing, public messaging, and…



Gabriel Nathan

Gabe is Editor in Chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries, a mental health publication. He is a suicide awareness advocate and is attracted to toxic car relationships.