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What You Can Expect From My Keynotes:

Armed with dry humor and a tasteful cardigan (we call it “sassy grandpa chic”), I challenge preconceived notions about those with lived experience of suicidal thoughts and actions using the combined powers of photography and storytelling. I’m out to show my audiences that the silence around suicide is both dangerous and totally passé.

Over the course of 65 minutes, I discuss my own experiences with self-injury and suicide; the development and evolution of Live Through This; my artistic process; and successes and struggles in my time as an advocate. I implore audiences to open their hearts and their minds to those of us who have literally lived through it, and I provide incontrovertible evidence that suicide affects all of us.

Expect a talk that will be revealing, often touching, always honest and, ultimately, hopeful. (My wife wrote that part for me, guys.)

I’ve also been known to give workshops on suicide safe messaging, social media (specifically, how I apply a social media strategy to Live Through This), and storytelling. Additional topics and custom content available upon request.

Want to see what I’ve done and where I’ve been? You can download my CV here.

Upcoming Events

April 22-25, 2020
American Association of Suicidology Annual Conference
Portland, OR

April 29, 2020
Prevent Suicide Wisconsin 2020 Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI

May 18, 2020
Philadelphia Suicide Prevention Forum
Philadelphia, PA

May 19, 2020
Pennsylvania Mental Health and Wellness Conference
State College, PA

June 23, 2020
Physician Burnout Symposium
Philadelphia, PA

September 10, 2020
Helpline Center
Sioux Falls, SD

Bring LTT To You

Now booking for 2020! To inquire about availability for speaking engagements, please reach out to You can also find more information here.



Live Through This is a labor of love requiring a lot of time and care. I do most of the work myself, but do have a small team of volunteers taking care of tasks I simply don’t have the expertise to handle on my own. I am in need of long-term transcriptionists. As I (currently) have no budget, these positions are unpaid. If you are interested, please contact me.

Things People Have Said About My Talks

Dese’Rae Stage has a story to tell you, and trust me, you’ll want to listen. With her personal story of surviving a suicide attempt, Stage takes on a controversial topic with bravery and wit. In the end, however, it is her heart you connect with. Her heart is the bridge her audiences cross to a deeper, more personal understanding of the taboo topic of suicide.

Dr. April Foreman

Suicide Prevention Coordinator

Dese’Rae’s ability to be vulnerable on stage adds a level of power to her story that cannot be ignored. She connected with our audience at the soul level and will not soon be forgotten.
Erica Nelson

Director of Health Policy, North Carolina Hospital Association

Dese’Rae grips her audience with her heartfelt candor and humor. It is as if you’re catching up with an old friend when she shares her story and passion for Live Through This.
Amelia Lehto

RCH Coordinator - Suicide Prevention, Common Ground

Dese’Rae’s work has an important message for a campus audience, and we were thrilled with her visit to campus. Building off her own experiences, her talk was credible and informative while simultaneously offering an intimate and personal look at suicide experiences. Her message—that suicidal individuals deserve and need a compassionate audience—directly translated into a call to action for reducing stigma towards suicide.
Dr. Laura Frey

Assistant Professor, University of Louisville

We were so pleased with the talk Ms. Stage gave on our campus. Through her intense photos of suicide attempt survivors’ faces and story of her own suicide attempt, Ms. Stage helped the audience understand the range of people who have survived suicide. With humor, Ms. Stage allowed an audience of students, mental health professionals, community members and people bereaved by suicide the chance to think about suicide attempts and how we can talk openly about suicide. She made a difficult subject accessible to an audience with a wide-range of experiences.
Dr. Julie Cerel

Associate Professor, University of Kentucky

There are moments in which we learn more than we realize about ourselves, the patients and families we serve, and the world as we know it. I experienced one of these moments when I met Dese’Rae Stage. Dese’Rae was a ‘panel of one’ at a state-wide summit designed to inform, engage, and enlighten leaders serving patients and families with behavioral health needs. I was the facilitator for this panel and was truly inspired by her story and the project she leads. Dese’Rae has a unique passion for changing the assumptions—and the faces—of attempt survivors among healthcare providers. Her project is a model for leaders, providers, and communities who are willing to truly hear the experiences of attempt survivors. Her delivery is real and her solutions are designed to transform how healthcare demonstrates compassion across a continuum of care that has patients and families at the center. The visual and verbal elements of her presentations are unique and compelling. Dese’Rae presents the challenges and the solutions in a practical and impactful manner. As I continue to follow her work with other survivors and advocates, I am reminded of how essential conversations about suicide can be in transforming the healthcare system to a more patient- and family-centered environment. She helped me—my mind and my heart—to expand my capacity for compassion and understanding. I would highly recommend engaging Dese’Rae to transform your conversations!
Sue Collier

Patient-Family Engagement Leader and Advocate

Here’s what you’re getting yourself into:

Want to support Live Through This?

Live Through This is made possible in part by donations from incredible humans like you. If the project moves you and you have even a single dollar to spare, please consider donating. Every dollar donated goes straight back into the project. These funds allow for gear, web real estate and hosting, travel associated with the project, professional fees, conference attendance, and more.

For more ways to support Live Through This, be sure to check out the store, join in on the #STAY campaign by sharing a picture of you in your Live Through This gear, and subscribe to our mailing list!

About Live Through This

Live Through This is a series of portraits and true stories of suicide attempt survivors. Its mission is to change public attitudes about suicide for the better; to reduce prejudice and discrimination against attempt survivors; to provide comfort to those experiencing suicidality by letting them know that they’re not alone and tomorrow is possible; to give insight to those who have trouble understanding suicidality, and catharsis to those who have lost a loved one; and to be used as a teaching tool for clinicians in training, or anyone else who might benefit from a deeper understanding of first-person experiences with suicide.

More Information

Tax-deductible donations are made possible by Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization, which sponsors Live Through This. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Live Through This must be made payable to Fractured Atlas only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Please Stay

If you’re hurting, afraid, or need someone to talk to, please reach out to one of the resources below. Someone will reach back. You are so deeply valued, so incomprehensibly loved—even when you can’t feel it—and you are worth your life.

Find Help

You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 and pressing Option 1, the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada), or The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.

If you don’t like talking on the phone, you can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741. If you’d like to talk to a peer, contains links to warmlines in every state. If you’re not in the U.S., click here for a link to crisis centers around the world.

Live Through This is dedicated to the lives of so many friends and family members lost to suicide over the years. If you would like to add the name of a loved one to this list, please email me.

Live Through This is dedicated to the lives of so many friends and family members lost to suicide over the years. If you would like to add the name of a loved one to this list, please email me.