Event Highlights


Liberatory Responses to Suicide and Crisis

March 15, 2022

Liberatory Responses to Suicide and Crisis:

In this session, we will discuss the history of carceral responses to suicide and crisis. Beginning with the conflation of madness and queerness, we will explore the ways queer and trans people have been targeted by carceral psychiatric and psychological “interventions.” We will trace the persistence of this historical trauma’s legacy in current crisis response models. After grounding in historical and contemporary responses to crisis and suicide, we will imagine liberatory frameworks for responding to suicide and crisis that resist paradigms of punishment and pathology.

0:00 Speaker introduction
3:15 Discussion of difficult content
4:26 Approaching the topic of crisis
5:02 Welcoming emotional responses
5:57 Presentation agenda

6:14 The carceral history of crisis response
11:46 Psychiatric oppression
13:27 Suicide and rationality
18:56 Targeting of queer and trans people
21:31 The carceral legacy in current crisis response

23:33 State sanctioned coercion
27:31 Imagining liberatory responses
31:15 Examples of liberatory responses


36:09 What is “grave disability?”
37:52 Epistemic and testimonial injustice
41:36 What is the difference between safety planning and safety contracts?
43:57 How to challenge mandatory reporting laws
47:05 Being a health care provider with mental illness

49:43 Gatekeeping inpatient care
52:03 Gender dysphoria in the DSM-5
54:18 Sharing resources
56:38 How to work with clients who have persecutory hallucinations?
1:00:52 Thoughts on having conversations with LGBTQ+ community members around forced interventions

1:03:04 Closing thoughts on community
1:04:33 Resources/support groups for providers with mental health issues
1:07:02 Upcoming events

Presenter: Jess Stohlmann-Rainey.

I am Jess (she/her) and I love to talk about suicide. I am a mad, queer, feminist, care worker. I am a trainer and consultant, and work as Director of Peer Services at Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners (who provides the statewide crisis and peer lines, RAINN hotline, Colorado Lifeline, and others), and an instructor at the University of Denver’s School of Professional Psychology. I live as a white settler on the unceded territory of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute), and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Sioux) people, (so-called Denver, CO). In my work, I aspire to be a useful person and create pathways to intersectional, justice-based, emotional support for marginalized communities. I believe mutual aid, disability justice, abolitionist, and other liberation ideologies are integral to solve the problems that lead to suicide. Right now, I am really into talking/thinking about epistemology, capitalism, and ethics in the context of suicidology.

Recorded on March 15, 2022.