Prairie Action ND

Can Politics Be Positive?s

By: Faye Seidler, Suicide Prevention Advocate

May 30, 2024

I work in suicide prevention, which is work that focuses on hope. While we often think about this topic in regard to mental health, it’s so much broader than that. It’s how we feel connected to our community or not, our access to resources or opportunities, and how we feel about the future. Politics is an important sector of suicide prevention, but one we often don’t talk about. I surveyed every candidate in North Dakota who provided an email and is listed on the Secretary of State website. I asked them how likely their work would focus on suicide prevention, food security for youth, and protecting LGBTQ+ individuals. Of 900 candidates with emails, 20 responded so far! Keep in mind these candidates are busy, but of those who reached out, there was a high interest in these issues. I also asked what made candidates hopeful about North Dakota and the answers involved our youth and that we do genuinely take care of each other. I asked about my favorite comedian and got a range of answers from Carlin, to Carson, to Seinfeld. And I also asked about what campaign promise a person would keep even if not elected. Politics is so messy these days, but I wanted to humanize our candidates, encourage them to think about hope and what they can do for their communities out of office. The survey is open until our general elections, with all information hosted here.