Although it might seem like it at first glance, Second Life is not all fun and games (and fashionista/club/relationship-related intrigue, backstabbing, gossip, and drama, although there is certainly no shortage of that!).
Second Life also has its serious, service-oriented side, and it is home to many organizations such as Survivors of Suicide, which this month is hosting a Mental Health May Festival, with a full calendar of live musical artists, discussion groups, and many other events. Here is more information about the Mental Health May Festival, including the line-up of performers.
Here’s the SLURL to the festival, where you can also find an upcoming events calendar posted near the main stage, as well as some background information about the Survivors of Suicide group in SL.
A poster in the display states:
Survivors of Suicide was established in December of 2008 as a peer support group for suicide survivors and their families, and to both help educate people on suicide prevention and fight to end the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health.
We have grown considerably in the past 11 years, and have branched out to encompass all sorts of mental health issues, not just those relating directly to suicide. This growth, along with our longevity, has Survivors of Suicide become both the largest—and the longest running—mental health peer support group in Second Life.
With a pool of trained peer mentors, several weekly peer support group meetings, various activities, and a very active group chat, you can be sure to find someone to talk to at Survivors of Suicide when you are going through a rough time. We are not doctors or mental health professionals, but peers with a really wide and diverse set of skills and experiences, who are always happy to listen to you and to offer emotional support and practical advice based on our own experiences.
There are two levels, an Event Level, which has the main stage located at one end, and contains a pavilion lined with information posters about various aspects of mental health, for you to peruse:
A teleporter sign takes you down to the Main Level, where the Survivors of Suicide House is located:
Inside the house is an extensive library or resources, as well as a cozy area for group discussions:
If you are currently experiencing a mental health or addictions related crisis:
- If you are suicidal, please read this first.
- Contact your doctor
- Go to the nearest hospital
- Find a local crisis line: check the Emergency listings in your phone book, or look here: Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention directory or resources (Canada) or this list of suicide crisis lines from Wikipedia (international)
- Find a mobile crisis team (check the Emergency listings in your phone book)
- Call 911 (or your local equivalent emergency number)
If you are not in crisis, but still need help, here are some other good places to get started:
- Mental Health Care in Canada: Where to Find Help (CTV News, Canada)
- General Resources (Mental Health First Aid Canada, by the Mental Health Commission of Canada)
- MentalHealth.gov (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, United States)
- Find Support (National Alliance on Mental Illness, United States)
- Mental Health and Psychology Sources Online (PsychCentral)
- Global Mental Health Resources (by CheckPoint, an Australia-based charity that connects mental health resources to the gamer/tech community)
- 9 Ways to Get Free or Cheap Therapy When You Don’t Have Health Insurance (this list by The Penny Hoarder is intended for Americans who lack health insurance)
“Sometimes we need to hear a human voice on the other end of the line telling us that everything’s going to be ok. This subreddit is for people that aren’t in a suicidal crisis, but feel depressed, alone, or want someone to talk to.”
A similar service is called The Haven, another Discord channel for people who need someone to talk to. Both Kind Voice and The Haven are free, volunteer-run services.