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Dese’Rae L. Stage      

Artist, Suicidologist, Speaker & Activist

Dese’Rae L. Stage is an artist, mom, suicidologist, educator, and advocate/activist. Stage is a writer and self-taught photographer with experience in music journalism. She has an academic background in psychology and suicidology, and is trained in crisis intervention (ASIST, QPR), and she is a certified QPR trainer. She also has lived experience with chronic suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and suicide loss—experiences she centers in her work.

Stage ties these threads together with Live Through This, a multimedia storytelling series that aims to reduce prejudice and discrimination against suicide attempt survivors. It reminds us that suicide is a human issue by elevating and amplifying survivors’ voices through raw, honest stories of survival, and pairing them with portraits—putting faces and names to statistics that have been the only representation of attempt survivors in the past. She has interviewed and photographed 188 attempt survivors in 36 US cities since 2010.

Live Through This is used as a resource by clinicians and as a teaching tool at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Stage has partnered and published with research teams in an effort to bring attempt survivor experiences to the forefront of suicide research. Live Through This has received media coverage from the New York Times, TIME, CNN, CBS Evening News, VICE, People Magazine, and many, many more.

Stage speaks about her work and experiences at universities and suicide prevention events nationwide. Highlights, for her, have been sharing a bill with Kay Redfield Jamison at the NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series and delivering a Thought Leader Session at the American Association of Suicidology’s annual conference in 2020.

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