Talking About Suicide

Because it's not a taboo

Tag: interview

Talking with Phillip Garber and Janet Berkowitz

I recently had the chance to sit in, long distance, on a meeting of Suicide Anonymous. The support group for people who have attempted or seriously considered suicide has grown little beyond its roots in Tennessee, but an active couple in New Jersey has created another hub and is trying to reach out to people […]

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 Carolyn Edgar

This month I came across The Siwe Project, which focuses on mental health awareness in what it calls the “global black community.” What drew me there was a newly posted essay by Carolyn Edgar, who describes herself as a Harvard law graduate, a writer and a single mom. Her essay for the project’s No Shame […]

Talking with Mike Stutz

“You want to stop a conversation quickly? Tell someone you’d like to make a funny movie about suicide. It’s a little like asking a stranger about their favorite masturbation techniques. A sour look is followed by uncomfortable silence and a quick exit.” This is how longtime director Mike Stutz introduces his new documentary, “Don’t Change […]

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 […]

Talking with Joseph Olszewski

Joseph Olszewski, or Joey, says he lost 75 to 80 percent of his friends after they found out about his suicide attempt. But he says the attempt, in a popular Brooklyn park in the middle of the day, was like pushing the “reset” button on his life. The friends he lost? They weren’t real friends […]

Talking with Cory Cobern

Cory Cobern is in the middle of making himself over. The father of two is soon to become a social worker and runs one of the very few support groups for suicide attempt survivors in the U.S. It’s encouraging to hear that his openness about his own experience didn’t keep him from working for a […]

Talking with Katie Ayotte

Katie Ayotte’s story is a striking mix of what resources are becoming possible for suicide attempt survivors and the disconnects that remain. At least two fascinating twists lie ahead as she talks about becoming a peer leader of a rare attempt survivors support group in the U.S. Katie also expresses a major problem of suicide […]

Talking with Ginny Sparrow

Was there really a time not so long ago when parents who lost a child to suicide were blamed, silent and ashamed? This was one of the surprising things I learned from Ginny Sparrow. Ginny is a survivor of suicide, which is a term that can be confusing at first. Survivors of suicide have lost […]

New: The Waking Up Alive house

The resources for people in a suicidal crisis are often pretty bleak beyond a crisis line call. I was happy to hear about a new project called Waking Up Alive, which appears to be the first of its kind in the United States and one of a handful in the world. Sabrina Strong, a suicide […]