The 3 C's of Healing
Updated: Sep 29
As an individual who has survived several suicide attempts, and the passionate founder of Second Steps, a suicide prevention support service, I am asked almost everyday "What does recovery really look like?" My response is always the same "It looks different for different people." But my journey of recovery taught me a few things that all healing journeys should have in common. I call them the 3 C's of Healing and their remarkably important for the prevention of subsequent suicide attempts.
Compassion revolves around care. Care for self, care delivered by others - both professionally and personally. Compassion asks us to address our spiritual wellbeing in whichever form this takes place for the person. Compassion is having empathy for mistakes and showing tenderness for past wrongs. Compassion also involves being gentle; taking things one step at a time. Remembering recovery is the journey not the destination. Compassion tells us to tread lightly, and with support, toward a life that we believe is worth living. In this manner, compassion considers our mental and emotional wellbeing.
Connection develops our sense of self and our relationship to others. Connection is a fundamental component of being human. A healthy recovery journey can involve connection to family, friends, peers, supports, clinicians. Additionally, connection can be fostering and aligning ourselves with our beliefs, core values, and boundaries. Connection can also assist us in identifying hobbies, activities, sports, and studies and provide the motivation to participate in these. Connection can support our mental, emotional, physical, economical, spiritual and social wellbeing.
Contribution plays a key part in enhancing our sense of self worth. Contribution can also improve self esteem, self compassion, and confidence. Contribution provides opportunities to experience a sense of achievement and accomplishment. Additionally, it can help to strengthen our ability to live in alignment with our values. Throughout the journey of recovery, the capacity and desire to contribute can fluctuate. At times contribution may be as simple as helping a friend. Sometimes it will be in the form of volunteering. Other times it will be in a financial form, perhaps within a household. Eventually it may be in the form of paid employment. Contribution, therefore, has a role in improving our mental, economical, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
Why are the 3 C's of Healing so important?
I and many others believe that for recovery to be lasting, it requires a holistic approach. The journey should incorporate elements of care that will improve or enhance mental, physical, emotional, social, economical, and spiritual wellbeing. Addressing only one aspect could result in continued strain on our wellbeing. The 3 C's of Healing give consideration to all elements of wellbeing.