Talking About Suicide

Because it's not a taboo

Life and art, part three: Talking with Konii Burns

The exhibition was so unexpected that artist Konii Burns came to the gallery three times during its three-month run, sat alone in the space and cried. “Not so much of sadness, but of relief that this topic was being spoken about so beautifully and honestly,” she says. This is the last of three interviews about “Inspired […]

Your help: A national portrait project

If we want to get the faces and voices of attempt survivors out there and show that it’s possible to move on from the experience, here is a beautiful way to do it. New York-based photographer Dese’rae Stage has been taking portraits of suicide attempt survivors just moments after they tell her their story, and […]

Life and art, part two: Talking with Erminia Colucci

“I’m always surprised at how willing people are to share if they see a purpose for it and they’re not going to be judged.” Erminia Colucci was going about her work in academia when an unusual e-mail arrived from a stranger. Australian artist Mic Eales had come across her work on spirituality and suicide and […]

Life and art, part one: Talking with Mic Eales

For the next three posts we’ll be hearing from Australia, where a collection of artists with lived experience came together last year for a groundbreaking exhibition on suicide. “Inspired Lives” was hosted by the Dax Centre, one of the world’s top art galleries related to mental health. Officials there took some convincing, but the exhibition became the […]

Talking with David Granirer

Can suicide, and mental health at large, be funny? This isn’t the first time I’ve interviewed someone who believes it can, but perhaps no attempt survivor has taken on the question as directly as David Granirer. The Canadian founded and runs an organization that teaches stand-up comedy to people with mental health issues. David sees […]

Reading about Jacquielynn Floyd

A quick note to point out this piece by Dallas Morning News columnist Jacquielynn Floyd, who writes openly about her two suicide attempts as a teenager and her depression at the time: It was not caused by tragedy or by bad parenting or by a teenage craving for romantic drama. It was a sickness, a […]

Talking with Kevin Sheffield

Today is Kevin Sheffield’s birthday. He wrote to me recently from Canada and introduced himself as a young man whose social anxiety had led him on an uncomfortable path through the world _ releasing his bottled-up fears at home as a hyper and destructive kid, and later working a night shift, “obviously, a great hiding […]

Talking with Michael Woods

“It happens to the best of us.” Michael Woods couldn’t have put it more clearly. Michael is studying for his master’s degree in rehab counseling, working for an independent living organization in Montana, getting ready for marriage and trying to reassure his family that he’s doing the right thing by buying a home. He’s 23, […]

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 […]

Speaking from anonymity

The new blog on attempt survivors at the American Association of Suicidology website has been updated with a post by someone I’ve never featured: an anonymous person. Talking About Suicide is dedicated to people who speak openly, but the AAS blog will at times include the voices of people who can’t come out to family, […]