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Twin Cities PBS’ “Facing Suicide” Offers Information, Resources and Hope

The project seeks to elevate and destigmatize the topic of suicide and empower communities with prevention strategies

  • Christina Zeiders

Each year, tens of thousands of Americans die by suicide – there were more than 45,000 deaths by suicide in 2020 alone – and many more have thoughts of suicide.

Facing Suicide, a new documentary and impact campaign from Twin Cities PBS, explores the stories of Americans impacted by suicide, and travels to the frontlines of medical and scientific research to meet those who are working to help people at risk.

Timely and informative, the project seeks to elevate and destigmatize the topic of suicide and empower communities with prevention strategies.

Watch Facing Suicide on Tuesday, September 13 at 9pm on WITF TV or stream it through the PBS Video app.

“Suicide touches virtually every demographic group in the U.S., and rates have increased significantly since the late 1990s,” said Michael Rosenfeld, project lead and executive producer of the Facing Suicide documentary. “But experts have learned a lot about suicide in the past few years, offering insights that suggest new strategies for prevention. We explore the latest discoveries in our film, woven together with inspiring stories of hope and recovery.”

The film, which premieres Tuesday, September 13 at 9pm on WITF TV and the PBS Video app, shares the deeply personal stories of those directly affected by suicide as well as insights from experts and researchers who are making a difference.

A companion digital series hosted by Shani Tran, a licensed professional clinical counselor who’s worked with clients dealing with self-harm and suicidal ideation, premieres on September 7 on the PBS YouTube channel. It works to create a space of understanding, hope and action for young people whose lives have been touched by suicide.

Each episode in the companion series features young adults who’ve attempted or contemplated suicide describing how they found the support and hope they needed to recover. Through their reflections, they reveal the power of friends and peers to recognize the warning signs, reach out, and help.

Lynn Millspaugh

Greg Whitesell with mother Raelena Whitesell.

Watch Facing Suicide on Tuesday, September 13 at 9pm on WITF TV or stream it using the PBS Video app.

Facing Suicide introduces viewers to a diverse group of Americans who have been affected by suicide, including high school basketball champions on a Native American reservation in Montana, who responded to the suicide crisis in their community with a prevention campaign that went viral; the wife of a Midwestern farmer who is determined that she and her children will live full and hopeful lives after her husband’s death; and a Black woman in Charlotte, NC, who overcame her own mental health challenges to become a suicide prevention advocate.

The film also features leading scientists, practitioners, and innovative thinkers whose discoveries in neuroscience, genetics, psychology, and other fields are revealing the true nature of the problem and finding promising solutions.

Watch the premiere of Facing Suicide on WITF TV Tuesday, September 13 at 9pm or stream it through the PBS Video app.


National outreach partners for the Facing Suicide project are four of the nation’s leading suicide prevention organizations: The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), The Jed Foundation (JED), and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE).

If you are thinking about suicide or if you or someone you know is in emotional crisis, call or text 988 any time for confidential, free, crisis support.

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