Talking About Suicide

Because it's not a taboo

Featured on Mad in America

I don’t quite know the protocol in the mirror-world of social media, so I hope it’s not going too far to point out a blog that points out a blog. The well-curated Mad in America site, founded by journalist and “Mad in America” author Robert Whitaker, has a guest post by suicidologist and attempt survivor David Webb that cheers, and critiques, the new blog on attempt survivors on the American Association of Suicidology website.

“Not quite a black man in the White House, but …” David says. He adds:

After 10+ years working in this field, and in particular calling for greater recognition of the survivor voice, this blog from AAS represents for me the most significant development in Suicidology that I’ve witnessed. The AAS is very influential globally so if we can make a success of this blog, it is likely that other organisations around the world might follow.

David’s very thoughtful and outspoken, and he rightly points out two things. The AAS blog makes it sound as though it’s exclusively for people who’ve attempted suicide. “Those of you who know about suicidal feelings but have not made an attempt should ignore this exclusive hierarchy … IMHO,” he writes.

Also, the blog doesn’t yet have a comments section to promote the dialogue that it pursues. As the editor of that blog, I’m looking into whether we can moderate comments before they’re posted. As I told David, I’d like to pull away from anonymity whenever possible, and I don’t want random people hiding behind avatars and posting unproductive comments like “You guys are a bunch of dorks.” But if there’s a way to pick out and post relevant comments, and I do want them to include criticism, I’m for that, and soon.

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