Share Your Story

In July, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline became the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, providing support for a range of mental health crises. As people learn about this important resource, we want to share personal stories of how the Lifeline has impacted people across the country. Your story can help others seek out the help they need in a crisis.

We’re particularly interested in stories that address the following questions:

  • Did you receive the help you or a loved one needed during a crisis when you called the Lifeline? (Please note if you called, used text messaging or chatted online to reach the 988 Lifeline.)
  • Tell us about the experience of calling the Lifeline? You might share what resources you received, what it was like to talk to the crisis counselor or other details that might help people learning more about the Lifeline.
  • What happened to you or a loved one after contacting the Lifeline? How has your or your loved one’s life changed following the call, text or chat?
  • What do you wish other people in the community would know about your experience with the Lifeline? Is there anything you wish you knew before contacting the Lifeline that could help others?

Record Your Video Story

Please use the video recording tool below to share your experience of the Lifeline. You can use the tool on any computer or mobile device with a front-facing camera. Make sure to keep your answers short and concise, to speak slowly, and enunciate clearly. If using a mobile device, please record horizontally.

Click “Record Video” to get started and allow the site to access your camera and microphone. To begin recording click the red button at the bottom left. When you’re done, click the same red button in the bottom left. Your recording will upload immediately. Then complete the contact information below the video recording tool.

Need help?  Below are tips to help you record the highest quality video. Please email reimaginecrisis@nami.org with any additional questions.

  • Before filming, make sure you are facing toward the main source of light in the area. Opt for natural light if you can. If the main source of light is behind you, your face and body will be covered by shadows. For example,
    if you’re standing with a bright window at your back, turn around and face toward the window instead!
  • If you’re wearing glasses, be sure to check if your light source is reflecting off your lenses. The easiest thing to do is to remove your glasses. Not an option? Raise your light source to reduce or eliminate the glare.
  • If you’ve got a ring light and your window access is spotty, give it a shot! These lights cast an even light,
    helping to reduce shadows on the face, giving your skin a smoother look and brightening your eyes. 
  • If possible, when using a smartphone have somebody (with a steady hand and from a safe distance) film you. This allows for a more natural camera angle. Filming solo? Use a small phone tripod, or rig a secure set-up like leaning your phone against a sturdy surface to ensure a smooth video capture.
  • Think about where your video is going to be seen, and pick the frame orientation that works best for your
    project. In general, horizontal filming is more commonly used and is easier to format it into more uses than filming with your phone upright (vertically).
  • You’ll capture your best angle if your camera is sitting just above eye-level. This will also promote good posture, helping you put your best foot forward!
  • Be cautious to not cut off your head or sides of your body with the camera frame. If you can’t see your whole head in the frame, neither can we (or the camera). Aim to have your head in the top half of the frame, leaving room for us to add captions.
  • It’s best to have a tidy background that won’t distract from your message. Avoid distracting objects, complex patterns (for example, a houndstooth pattern can be dizzying on camera), and intense lighting (avoiding overexposure and scary shadows).
  • Recording outdoors is risky for audio. Unless you’re super confident in your environment (and skills), or prepared to make multiple attempts when that noisy truck or cheerful bird decides to join your video shoot, stick to filming inside if possible to help control your outcome.
  • If filming indoors, take a beat to check if there are any fans/HVAC units, appliances etc. that may be creating noise that you’ve grown used to. If they can’t be turned off, then close as many doors in between the source of the sound and the room in which you are recording.
  • If you think audio will be an ongoing hurdle, you can purchase an inexpensive (around $15), small microphone that works with your smartphone, laptop and desktop. These can dramatically improve audio quality
  • Allow yourself ample time to set up and make sure everything is running smoothly. Peace of mind in your AV will give you the confidence boost you need to focus on the connecting with your content and viewer.
  • When filming from a computer, avoid focusing on yourself in the webcam frame on screen. If eye contact is desired, look directly into the tiny camera source light. If you don’t want to provide direct eye-contact, focus slightly to the side of the camera source.
  • Great performances take practice.  Give yourself time to do a full dress rehearsal. Once you’re ready, and if time allows, record multiple takes and pick from the best material to submit.

Prefer to write your story instead? 

Click the button below to submit a text story instead of a video.

By sharing your video, you agree that NAMI may use your story (in any part, full or edited) for the purpose of advocating. This may include sharing your story with the media or posting on NAMI webpages and social media accounts. NAMI will not use your full name or personal information in any way; we will only use your first name and last initial and your state. You also agree that NAMI may reach out to you with follow-up questions, for clarification, or to discuss additional opportunities to share your story.

NAMI does not provide personal advocacy or legal services. If you need mental health resources, email info@nami.org or call 1-800-950-6264. If you or somebody you know is in a mental health crisis, contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline via phone or text at 988 (Deaf and Hard of Hearing: dial 711 then 988) or online chat 988lifeline.org.

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