Talking About Suicide

Because it's not a taboo

Tag: suicide survivor

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Sandra Kiume Dawson discusses suicide hoaxes, what Twitter does wrong, the need for transparency, why hotlines are outdated, and how to walk the oh-so-careful […]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

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 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 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 […]