Talking About Suicide

Because it's not a taboo

Tag: Canada

Talking with Sandra Kiume Dawson

The Canadian activist who tweets at @unsuicide has built a peerless guide to the online world of crisis response, and she’s done it on her own time with zero budget. Here, Sandra Kiume Dawson discusses suicide hoaxes, what Twitter does wrong, the need for transparency, why hotlines are outdated, and how to walk the oh-so-careful […]

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 […]

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 Tom Greensides

Tom Greensides is yet another of the outspoken Canadians who make me wonder what’s going on up there above the border. We spoke this week, and he gave me a good introduction to the surgery called deep brain stimulation, which is the first treatment that has managed to keep his depression at bay. It wasn’t […]

Talking with Alicia Raimundo

So let’s talk about the idea of attempt survivors as superheros. Alicia Raimundo stood up at the end of this month’s national conference of the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention and told a little of her story. We spoke this week, and she’s all for openness on the topic. And some playfulness as well. “Part […]

More from Canada, part 2: Listening to Wendy Matthews

One of the several attempt survivors I met last week at Canada’s national conference for suicide prevention was Wendy Matthews, who gave an open, engaging presentation about her experience. “I have finally been able to recover my life, and my illness finally turned into just that. An illness,” she told the audience. “It is no […]

More from Canada: Talking with Judy James

I met Judy James this week at Canada’s national conference for suicide prevention. A few hours later, we had the following conversation upstairs in her hotel room, with the window open on a beautiful view of Niagara Falls. Judy’s direct, and she was just one of a half-dozen or more people at the conference who […]

Talking with Cathy Read-Wilson

How many people working on crisis lines have had their own experience with suicide? Cathy Read-Wilson’s suicide attempt came after she had started volunteering with one. She found that the organization didn’t panic, later hired her and has worked with her ever since. Cathy explains the system, including how it keeps her supervisor informed when […]

Talking with Yvonne Bergmans

“So many care providers only see people when they’re not well. They don’t get to see the other side. The gift I have, I get to see all sides.” Yvonne Bergmans started a support group for suicide attempt survivors at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto more than a dozen years ago, and she has been […]