Talking About Suicide

Because it's not a taboo

Talking with Jim Atkisson

Many people can hide the evidence of their suicide attempt. Jim Atkisson can’t. What happened when he was 16 years old has trailed him ever since, disqualifying him for the Army and for law enforcement and other jobs. He believes that anyone who attempts suicide in the violent way he did has had this thought […]

The AP writes about attempt survivors

The Associated Press has just published a major feature story on attempt survivors and the trend of coming out and speaking openly. It points out the Live Through This portrait project, the What Happens Now? blog and the national attempt survivors task force with the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. It calls them several new […]

Talking with Cathy Naughton

It was the most simple of requests: “I would be happy to have you interview me regarding my experience with being suicidal.” Cathy Naughton approached me after I reached out to the tiny number of peer-run crisis services across the U.S. in an effort to learn more about what they do. A soon-to-come post will focus […]

Talking with David Parnell

David Parnell has spoken publicly for years about his past drug addiction, but until a few weeks ago, he’d never been asked only about the times he’d tried to kill himself. He was part of a live segment on The Huffington Post about attempt survivors. A decade ago, he woke up in the hospital and […]

A seat at the new Death Cafe

Here’s one of the more unexpected chances to talk about suicide. National Public Radio reported this month on the new Death Cafe, a series of events in the UK, the U.S. and elsewhere where people meet for tea, cake and some comfortable discussion about a sometimes uncomfortable topic. Founder Jon Underwood welcomed a post about […]

Talking with Brandi Care Hicks

Brandi Care Hicks has been speaking publicly about her experience for almost 15 years. When depression hit her as a high-spirited, high-achieving teen, she didn’t realize what it was until after her suicide attempt. Now she urges teens and others to speak up before letting themselves be cornered by their own troubled thinking. She’s noticing […]

On The Huffington Post

A rare story in the mainstream media about attempt survivors: The Huffington Post today featured three people, including Sabrina Strong, and included links to this site, the American Association of Suicidology’s new site for attempt survivors and the national portrait project Live Through This. You can watch the video segment here. If you’d like to […]

Talking with Mike Bush

“I changed from being a senior psychiatric social worker one day to being a mental health user the next day on the opposite side of the table. A very strange kind of bizarre experience.” Mike Bush is one of the many people in mental health who’ve had their own experience with suicidal thinking and actions, […]

Talking with Natalie De Stefano

This is a story about someone who worked for years in suicide prevention, knew and preached the coping skills and still ended up trying to kill herself. Natalie De Stefano wrote to me last month, and her story leapt off the page. Imagine having a migraine, or living on the brink of one, for 20 […]

A rare report on us

I’ve started looking into how overseas groups address attempt survivors, and here’s a happy discovery. Suicide Prevention Australia lay out in detail its position on attempt survivors and what’s needed to help them. Usually, unless it’s an academic paper, we’re a passing mention. Here, we’re the entire report. They’re direct, and a lot of what […]