Talking About Suicide

Because it's not a taboo

Tag: suicide attempt

Talking with Rohan Kallicharan

We couldn’t resist this photo of Rohan Kallicharan with an example of his starring role in a mental health campaign displayed in the London transit system. How many public awareness messages have you seen with a real person identifying as someone who tried to take their own life? Intrigued by this relative openness in the […]

Talking with Lilly Glass Akoto

Lilly Glass Akoto is a licensed clinical social worker, and in the course of this conversation she said something startling: “I never got any training, no specific training on suicidal thinking. … there’s nothing to do with helping someone with suicidal thinking. There’s nothing to do with how to talk with somebody, give somebody hope.” […]

Talking with Alexis Wortley

Alexis Wortley is coming out, here and now. In the eight years since her attempt, she has been embarrassed about giving up on herself and has been seeking atonement for what she did. Seeing another attempt survivor speak openly helped her decide to do the same. As she started sharing with family, friends and colleagues […]

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Sandra Kiume Dawson discusses suicide hoaxes, what Twitter does wrong, the need for transparency, why hotlines are outdated, and how to walk the oh-so-careful […]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 Joel Phillips

Joel Phillips’ turnaround came on a bike ride. He had been overweight, inert, depressed. Enough factors fell into place to click him into a final decision: He would ride out to a quiet spot and shoot himself. Instead, he returned that day in 2009 and has become a passionate advocate for biking in his Colorado […]

Talking with Darick Reed

“I didn’t want to die on my suicide prevention walk. It kind of defeats the purpose.” So there he was, Darick Reed, about 100 miles into an epic walk for suicide awareness and stuck in the biggest heat wave of the year. In remote Montana, too. He ended up in the emergency room being pumped […]

Talking with Tom Kelly

In this era of creative business titles, there’s something pretty cool about being the manager for recovery and resiliency. That would be Tom Kelly, whose life reflects his work. He’s been through a period of homelessness, the questionable interstate shipping of mental patients known as “Greyhound therapy” and more than one suicide attempt. Now he […]

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 […]

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 […]