Talking About Suicide

Because it's not a taboo

Talking with David Lilley

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I like talking with these people. Everyone has a personality that comes through, even when my set of questions are so narrow. David Lilley came across as having a salt-and-pepper personality, if that makes sense. I was a bit worried at the start, mostly because I wondered […]

Reading about Marko Cheseto

This is an affecting story about a Kenyan runner who disappeared from his university campus in Alaska and spent days alone in the woods before staggering into a local hotel. His running shoes were frozen to his feet. His feet had to be amputated because of frostbite. The original story, based on a police report, […]

Talking with Patty Overland

During our chat last month, Kristina Yates told me to speak with a friend of hers in California. She’s in a wheelchair from her suicide attempt and she’ll tell anyone about it, Kristina said. But that openness didn’t come right away. Patty Overland lives in the Bay Area and is a co-founder of Wry Crips, […]

Talking with Enoch Li

A young woman named Enoch Li found me from Beijing. Julie Hersh, the author of “Struck by Living” and a fellow attempt survivor, kindly pointed Enoch my way after they chatted about book projects. Enoch blogs about her recent experiences with depression and is working on a book about them. I was curious about her […]

Increasing the stigma?

This comment appeared in my e-mail box this weekend from someone using the nickname Oedipa Maas, which is the name of a character in the Thomas Pynchon novel “The Crying of Lot 49.” (Never read it, but I note that it contains at least one suicide.) I can’t promise I’ll approve all anonymous comments such […]

Reading about a runner and attempt survivor

It’s always a kind of relief when I come across someone else who talks openly about a suicide attempt. It’s another chip away at isolation, which lurks way too easily around a subject like this. I know that an untold number of people are talking on anonymous online forums, but for me that lacks a […]

‘Our little songbird has flown the nest’

Ever since Trish Lane told me during our talk about a blunt Reader’s Digest article that convinced her that suicide wasn’t an option, I wanted to find it. It took just seconds. Several websites have posted it as a warning, or a plea. I’ll paste it here, and soon enough someone will let me know […]

Talking with Kristina Yates

I recently had the chance to speak with Kristina Yates, who is a therapist and a MindFreedom member and runs a business boarding dogs for others. (I’m beginning to see a trend with people on this blog and pets.) We spoke while she was riding back from the conference of the International Society of Ethical […]

Talking with Hugh Massengill

Hugh Massengill has found a surprising calling. Every year, he speaks to hundreds of university students about his experience both as a survivor of suicide attempts and as a former homeless person. He was equally frank in a telephone call with me as he is with the students, who are often too shy to ask […]

Talking with Cindy Myron

Cindy Myron has the intriguing job of mental health peer specialist, which is something I know little about but want to explore more. The idea of talking with someone who has “been there” and doesn’t mind saying so can seem more attractive than talking with someone who’s been trained to keep their experiences silent. And […]