“It’s a Wonderful Life” As Viewed by the Crisis Worker
Whether you pop in the DVD or catch one of the many showings on television this season, the Frank Capra classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” tops many must-watch lists for holiday viewing. But for those of you who work in crisis and suicide prevention we suspect you view this film through a unique lens…
You know you’re a Crisis Worker watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” if…
- You comment on how the movie perpetuates the myth that suicide rates go up at Christmastime
- You’re jealous that Clarence got to see a factual recap of George’s life before talking to him and think about how much that would help you respond to callers
- You know George’s circumstances aren’t nearly as bad as many of the people you’ve talked to, and yet you still empathize with him and don’t judge him for feeling suicidal
- You can list all the warning signs that George is giving, and yell at the other characters for not picking up on them
- Even better, you wish someone would talk to George about his behavior and ask him directly if he was thinking of suicide
- You praise Mary for calling a family member to talk about how George was behaving, and not keeping his behavior a secret
- It reminds you of all the people you’ve spoken to that thought their suicide would be what’s best for their family
- You note that George chose a very high lethality method
- You wish Clarence would spend more time letting George tell him how he’s feeling and what has him thinking about suicide, instead of shutting him down and telling George he shouldn’t say such things
- You’re relieved when George finds his reasons for living
- You’re thankful for the happy ending, but you know that it’s rarely wrapped up so easily
- You’re reminded of why you do the work you do
Have you had any of these thoughts while watching this classic film? Got any other thoughts to add? We’d love to hear from you, leave us a comment!
And while you may not have wings, we know the countless individuals touched by your caring voices consider you all guardian angels. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to saving lives, during the holidays and all year round.
Dana joined the iCarol team in 2013 after 12 years of direct service and administrative duties at a suicide prevention, crisis intervention, and empathetic listening helpline that also served as a 2-1-1 information and referral service. As the Communications and Social Media Manager at iCarol, you’ll find her presenting Webinars, Tweeting, Blogging, Facebooking, and producing other materials that aid helplines in their work.
In her spare time, Dana enjoys birdwatching, gardening, animal caregiving, and spending time with her family.