Recommended Reading
Suicide Prevention is Everyone's Business
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Recommended Reading

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Clinical Assessment and Management | General Texts | Legal and Ethical Issues | Prevention/Schools/Special Populations | Surviving Suicide | White Papers

Clinical Assessment and Management

Assessment and Prediction of Suicide

Assessment and Prediction of Suicide
Maris, R., Berman, A.L., Maltsberger, J.T., Yufit, R. (Eds.), 1992, New York: Guilford

Comprehensive reference volume of 32 chapters covering a range of specialized topics such as jail suicides, school suicide programs, hospital and clinic suicides, economic and social factors, and the biology of suicide.



The Assessment and Management of Suicidality

The Assessment and Management of Suicidality
Rudd, M.D., 2006, Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press

This book is intended as a pocket reference for mental health professionals in a general and for clinicians-in-training.  Rudd emphasizes the importance of precises language in evaluation, a standard framework in assessment and the need for clear communication with the suicidal patient.  This book offers a concise and complete discussion of 'core competencies' in suicide risk assessment and immediate management.



Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk: Guidelines for Clinically Based Risk Management

Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk: Guidelines for Clinically Based Risk Management
Simon, R.I., 2002, American Psychiatric Association, Inc.

The incidence of suicide is elevated in all mental health diagnoses and patient suicide is the number one reason for malpractice lawsuits against psychiatrists.  The author focuses on crucial need for clinicians to perform a thorough, systematic suicide risk assessment on all patients who might be at some risk for suicide.



Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention of Suicidal Behavior

Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention of Suicidal Behavior
Yufit, R.I., Lester, D. (Eds)., 2005, John Wiley

This book offers a well written and consistent compendium that crosses the chasm between research on suicide and clinical care with an emphasis on psychotherapy.  This book has three basic sections - assessment, therapy and special issues.




Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP): A Manual for Clinicians
By: Konrad Michel & Anja Gysin-Maillart

An innovative and highly effective brief therapy for suicidal patients a complete treatment manual
Attempted suicide is the main risk factor for suicide. The Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP) described in this manual is an innovative brief therapy that has proven in published clinical trials to be highly effective in reducing the risk of further attempts. ASSIP is the result of the authors extensive practical experience in the treatment of suicidal individuals. The emphasis is on the therapeutic alliance with the suicidal patient, based on an initial patient-oriented narrative interview. The four therapy sessions are followed by continuing contact with patients by means of regular letters. 

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Choosing to Live: How to Defeat Suicide Through Cognitive Therapy

Choosing to Live: How to Defeat Suicide Through Cognitive Therapy
Ellis, T.E., Newman, C.F., 1996, New Harbinger Publications

A well written book for the general public.  It is filled with practical advice but remains cautious of the limitations of a self-help approach to reducing suicide risk.



Critical Suicidology

Critical Suicidology: Transforming Suicide Research and Prevention for the 21st Century
By: Jennifer White, Ian Marsh, Michael J. Kral, Jonathan Morris
Reviewed by Mary K. Lear, M.S., & Carolyn M. Pepper, Ph.D.

In Critical Suicidology, a team of international scholars, practitioners, and people directly affected by suicide argue that the field of suicidology has become too focused on the biomedical paradigm: a model that pathologizes distress and obscures the social, political, and historical contexts that contribute to human suffering. The authors take a critical look at existing research, introduce the perspectives of those who have direct personal knowledge of suicide and suicidal behavior, and propose alternative approaches that are creative and culturally sensitive. In the right hands, this book could save lives.

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DBT in Schools: Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents (DBT STEPS-A)
By: James J. Mazza, Elizabeth T. Dexter-Mazza, Alec L. Miller, Jill H. Rathus, & Heather E. Murphy
Reviewed by David N. Miller, PhD

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills have been demonstrated to be effective in helping adolescents manage difficult emotional situations, cope with stress, and make better decisions.  From leading experts in DBT and school-based interventions, this unique manual offers the first nonclinical application of DBT skills. The book presents an innovative social–emotional learning curriculum designed to be taught at the universal level in grades 6-12. Explicit instructions for teaching the skills--mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness--are provided in 30 lesson plans, complete with numerous reproducible tools: 99 handouts, a diary card, and three student tests. The large-size format and lay-flat binding facilitate photocopying; purchasers also get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials.

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DBT Skills Training Manual (Second Edition); DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets (Second Edition)
By: Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP (2015)

Featuring more than 225 user-friendly handouts and worksheets, this is an essential resource for clients learning dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills, and those who treat them. All of the handouts and worksheets discussed in Marsha M. Linehan's DBT Skills Training Manual, Second Edition, are provided, together with brief introductions to each module written expressly for clients. Originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder, DBT has been demonstrated effective in treatment of a wide range of psychological and emotional problems. No single skills training program will include all of the handouts and worksheets in this book; clients get quick, easy access to the tools recommended to meet their particular needs. The 8 1/2" x 11" format and spiral binding facilitate photocopying. Purchasers also get access to a Web page where they can download and print additional copies of the handouts and worksheets.

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Decision Making

Decision Making in Behavioral Emergencies: Acquiring Skills in Evaluating and Managing High-Risk Patients
By: Phillip Kleespies (2014)

When a client or patient presents who is suicidal, potentially violent, and/or at risk of being victimized, this is considered a behavioral emergency, a situation that requires immediate response. The goal of this book is to help clinicians increase their ability to manage stress and decrease its negative impact when making decisions about the assessment and care of these patients. The author presents models for decision making and stress training, guidance for teaching how to evaluate and manage behavioral emergencies, decision support tools, and a discussion of legal and ethical considerations.

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Depression Is a Choice: Winning the Battle Without Drugs

Depression is a Choice: Winning the Battle Without Drugs
Curtiss, A.B., 2001, Hyperion

The author, a licensed family therapist and board-certified cognitive behavioral therapist with a family history of depression, takes a hard look at the syndrome and how to overcome it naturally, without medication.




Developing a Forensic Practice: Operations and Ethics for Experts
By: William H. Reid
Reviewed by William "Bill" Schmitz Jr., Psy.D

Developing a forensic practice can be confusing and intimidating. Dr. William Reid, a highly experienced forensic psychiatrist, has written a practical, straightforward guide for clinicians interested in doing it right and increasing their opportunities for a successful transition to forensic work. This book, which will be of interest to many attorneys as well, provides straightforward details, along with many case examples, of lawyer-expert communications and relationships, case assessment, record review, evaluations, reports, deposition and trial testimony, fees and billing, office operations, marketing, liability, and professional ethics. A bonus chapter by a successful malpractice attorney gives a unique and valuable "lawyer’s perspective" on the content and mental health experts in general. The huge appendix provides over 40 highly useful examples of common office forms, letters, reports, and affidavits.


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Emergencies in Mental Health Practice: Evaluation and Management

Emergencies in Mental Health Practice: Evaluation and Management
Kleespies, P.M., 1997, New York: Guilford Publications

Focusing on acute clinical situations in which there is an imminent risk of serious harm or death to self or others, this practical resource helps clinicians evaluate and manage a range of mental health emergencies.



Evidence-Based Practice in Suicidology: A Source Book

Evidence-Based Practice in Suicidology: A Source Book
Pompili, M., Tatarelli, R., 2010, Hoegrefe Publishing

This is the book we have all been waiting for.  It provides answers to the key questions in suicidology: What is our evidence-base? And how can we translate research findings into effective suicide prevention interventions and practices?  The expert contributors bring clarity into the field, describing the current research evidence as well as showing us how to interpret it and apply it in clinical and prevention settings.

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The Harvard Medical School Guide to Suicide Assessment and Intervention

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Suicide Assessment and Intervention
Jacobs, D.G., 1999, California: Jossey-Bass

Clearly this is one of the most comprehensive guides available on suicide.  It is a must read for every mental health professional and others devoted to helping people forced with a crisis.  Provides a very clear and understandable approach to the phenomenology of suicide.



Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals
By Stacey Freedenthal

Helping the Suicidal Person provides a highly practical toolbox for mental health professionals. The book first covers the need for professionals to examine their own personal experiences and fears around suicide, moves into essential areas of risk assessment, safety planning, and treatment planning, and then provides a rich assortment of tips for reducing the person’s suicidal danger and rebuilding the wish to live. The techniques described in the book can be interspersed into any type of therapy, no matter what the professional’s theoretical orientation is and no matter whether it’s the client’s first, tenth, or one-hundredth session. Clinicians don’t need to read this book in any particular order, or even read all of it. Open the book to any page, and find a useful tip or technique that can be applied immediately.

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How to Identify Suicidal People: A Systematic Approach to Risk Assessment

How to Identify Suicidal People: A Systematic Approach to Risk Assessment
White, T.W., 1999, Philadelphia: Charles Press

This is an excellent reference for mental health professionals who work with potentially suicidal people.  Discusses the author's new method, and actual system of conduction risk assessment.



Managing Suicidal Risk: A Collaborative Approach

Managing Suicidal Risk: A Collaborative Approach
Jobes., D.A., 2006, Guilford Press

This easy-to-read is ideal for clinicians interested in learning about CAMS (Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality), a risk management framework.  Jobes explains the theory and philosophy of the model as well as demonstrates its use.



 Treating Suicidal Behavior and Risk in Children and Adolescents

Measuring Suicidal Behavior and Risk in Children and Adolescents
Goldston, D.B., 2003, APA

This book offers practitioners and researchers practical, up-to-date information on a wide range of instruments used to evaluate suicidal behaviors in children and adolescents.  In this critical and comprehensive reference book, the author first describes conceptual, definitional, and psychometric issues important in evaluating and comparing various assessment instruments and then focuses on available instruments that can be used for screening purposes or as adjuncts in detecting, describing, or estimating the risk of suicidal behavior.



Medical Conditions Associated with Suicide Risk

Medical Conditions Associated with Suicide Risk
Berman, A.L., Pompili M., 2011, AAS

With Medical Conditions Associated with Suicide Risk, Alan L. Berman, PhD and Maurizio Pompili, MD present a comprehensive summary of the most recent research surrounding the relationships between the most common and/or debilitating medical conditions and suicide risk.  The text aims to provide essential information to medical and behavioral health providers as these professionals play a central role in the assessment, management, and prevention of suicide among the patients they treat.

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Mindfulness and the transformation of despair: Working with people at risk of suicide
By: Mark Williams, DPhil; Melanie Fennel, PhD; Thorsten Barnhofer, PhD; Rebecca Crane, PhD, DipCot; Zindel Segal, PhD; John Teasdale, PhD

Grounded in extensive research and clinical experience, this book describes how to adapt mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for participants who struggle with recurrent suicidal thoughts and impulses. Clinicians and mindfulness teachers are presented with a comprehensive framework for understanding suicidality and its underlying vulnerabilities. The preliminary intake interview and each of the eight group mindfulness sessions of MBCT are discussed in detail, highlighting issues that need to be taken into account with highly vulnerable people. Assessment guidelines are provided and strategies for safely teaching core mindfulness practices are illustrated with extensive case examples. The book also discusses how to develop the required mindfulness teacher skills and competencies. Purchasers get access to a companion website featuring downloadable audio recordings of the guided mindfulness practices, narrated by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale. 

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Postmortem: How Medical Examiners Explain Suspicious Deaths

Postmortem: How Medical Examiners Explain Suspicious Deaths
Timmermans, S., 2006, University of Chicago Press

Timmermans' offerings are far less glitzy and hyper-technical than those depicted on TV, as he puts forth a clear and deeply penetrating view on how medical examiners do their work and their connections to the criminal justice system, the medical establishment, bereaved family members, and public health interested.  Timmermans' work also offer abundant dividends for suicidologists.

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he Practical Art of Suicide Assessment: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals and Substance Abuse Counselors

The Practical Art of Suicide Assessment: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals and Substance Abuse Counselors
Shea, S.C., 1999, New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Shea provides a thorough introduction to the CASE (Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events) approach, using numerous case examples.  The author moves the reader from suicidology theory and research to elicitation of suicide ideation to appropriate decision making and treatment planning.  This book would be equally useful for students, beginning clinicians, and seasoned veterans.



Preventing Patient Suicide: Clinical Assessment and Management

Preventing Patient Suicide: Clinical Assessment and Management
Simon, R.I., 2010, American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Rebert I. Simon, MD, a preeminent psychiatrist and prolific author on the subject of law and psychiatry, and offers a pragmatic and empathic guide for clinicians grappling with the most critical of questions: How can I protect my patients from themselves?

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Prevention and Treatment of Suicidal Behavior: From Science to Practice

Prevention and Treatment of Suicidal Behavior: From Science to Practice
Hawton, K., 2005, Oxford University Press

This book addresses issues of suicide epidemiology, prevention, intervention, and postvention from a global perspective by bringing together a contingent of international suicidologists.  The book highlights numerous issues related to the prevention and treatment of suicide in the international community and is organized into five thematic sections: epidemiology and trends of suicide and suicide-related behavior, theoretical and biological understanding of suicide; critical factors in providing treatment of those who are suicidal; suicide prevention; and survivor/volunteer roles in suicidology.



Textbook of Suicide Assessment and Management

Textbook of Suicide Assessment and Management
Simon, R.I., & Hales, R.E., 2006, American Psychiatric Publishing

The editors have brought together a range of medical experts to provide detailed summaries current knowledge across various domains of suicidology relevant to practicing professionals.



Treating Self-Injury: A Practical Guide, Second Edition

Treating Self-Injury: A Practical Guide, Second Edition
Walsh, B.W., 2012, Guilford Press

This trusted practitioner resource is acclaimed for its clear, compassionate, and hopeful approach to working with clients who self-injure.  Barent Walsh provides current, evidence-based knowledge about the variety and causes of self-injurious behavior, its relationship to suicidalitiy, and how to assess and treat it effectively. Illustrated with detailed case examples, chapters review a wide range of cognitive-behavioral interventions.  Essential guidance is provided on tailoring the intensity colleagues who have contributed chapters in their respective areas of expertise.



Treating Suicidal Behavior

Treating Suicidal Behavior: An Effective, Time-Limited Approach
Rudd, M.D., Joiner, T., & Rajab, M.H., 2000, Guilford 

This manual provides an empirically supported approach to treating suicidality that is specifically tailored to today's managed care environment.  Structured yet flexible, the model is fully compatible with current best practice standards.




General Texts


 Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind

Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind
Shneidman, E.S., 2004, Oxford University Press

Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind is a uniquely intensive psychological analysis of a suicidal mind.  In this poignant scientific study, the author assembles an extraordinary cast of eight renowned experts to analyze the suicidal materials, including a ten-page suicide note, given to him by a distraught mother looking for insights into her son's tragic death.  Each of the eight experts offers a unique perspective and the sum of their conclusions constitutes an extraordinary psychological autopsy.  This book is the first of its kind and a remarkable contribution to the study of suicide.  Mental health professionals, students of human nature, and persons whose lives have been touched by this merciless topic will be mesmerized and enlightened by this unique volume. 



 A Commonsense Book of Death

A Commonsense Book of Death
Shneidman, E.S., 2008, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Edwin Shneidman's final living contribution to the field of suicidology is A Commonsense Book of Death, in which the preeminent thanatologist and founding father of suicidology offers what is, in his own terms, his auto-obituary.
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A Mothers Reckoning

A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy
By: Sue Klebold

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.
For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?

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 Comprehensive Textbook of Suicidology

Comprehensive Textbook of Suicidology
Maris, R.W., Berman, A.L., Silverman, M.M., 2000, Guilford

This volume presents an authoritative overview of current scientific knowledge about suicide and suicide prevention.  Multidisciplinary and comprehensive in scope, the book provides a solid foundation in theory, research, and clinical applications.



 Handbook of Depression

Handbook of Depression
Gotlib, I.H., Hammen C.L., 2002, Guilford

This comprehensive, state-of-the-art handbook synthesizes the full breadth of contemporary knowledge about depression.  Bringing together leading depression researchers and clinical practitioners, the volume offers in-depth coverage of the epidemiology, course, and outcome of depressive disorders; current issues in classification, assessment, and diagnosis; vulnerability and risk factors; models of depression, including psychological and biological perspectives;  and effective approaches to prevention and treatment.  Described are current approaches to pharmacotherapy, innovations in understanding and treating child and adolescent depression as well as the assessment and management of suicidality.



 How I Stayed Alive While My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me

How I Stayed Alive While My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me
Blauner, S.R., 2002, HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

The book, How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me, is a "how to" guide on coping with suicidal thoughts by Susan Rose Blauner, someone who struggled for years with suicidal thoughts and behavior of her own.
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 The International Handbook of Suicide and Attempted Suicide

The International Handbook of Suicide and Attempted Suicide
Hawton, K., Van Heeringen, K., 2000, New York: John Wiley and Sons

Authoritative handbook of current knowledge on the incidence of suicide and attempted suicide.  Discusses the biological, genetic, psychological, and sociological processes related to suicidal behavior and the practical assessment and treatment of suicidal individuals.  For clinicians, students, and researchers.



 Katie's Diary (Death, Dying and Bereavement)

Katie's Diary (Death, Dying and Bereavement)
Lester, D., 2003, Brunner-Routledge

Katie's Diary presents a collection of experts' reviews of, interpretations of, and insights into the five notebook diary spanning nearly two years prior to the death by suicide of "Katie."  This book is an excellent resource that provides clear and concise interpretations of Katie from a plethora of perspectives and psychological theories.



 New Hope for People With Bipolar Disorder

New Hope for People With Bipolar Disorder
Fawcett, J., Golden, B., Rosenfeld, N., & Goodwin F.K., 2000, Prima Publishing

This book includes the latest psychiatric findings and treatments in the author's multidimensional approach to expel the myths and fears surrounding bipolar disorder.  Treatment options covered include drugs, nutrition, psychotherapy, diet, and lifestyle changes, which the authors address clinically and personally, offering compassionate and insightful suggestions for everyone effected by the disease.



 New Hope for People with Depression

New Hope for People with Depression
Broida, M., Mondimore, F.M., 2001, Prima Publishing

This book dispels the myths, answers your questions, and clearly examines the challenges of dealing with depression and what you can do to manage this common condition.  Inside is compassionate, practical, and immediate guidance for anyone interested in overcoming depression.



 Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide

Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide
Jamison, K.R., 2000, New York: Alfred Knopf

The author strikes a perfect balance between dispassion and passion in presenting scientific, historical and statistical information about mental illnesses and the search for treatments that will prevent suicide.  Recommended for all medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, school administrators, and students.



 The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
Solomon, A., 2001, New York: Scribner

The author shares his story of depression, brought to light by his mother's ovarian cancer leading to her suicide.  Depression causes Solomon to contemplate death while avoiding all pleasures in life such as friends, family and food.  He attempts to define this complicated disease through interviews with researchers, doctors, patients, and politicians.  Throughout his exploration, he clearly shows depression as an illness without class, geographical or timely boundaries. 



 November of the Soul: The Enigma of Suicide

November of the Soul: The Enigma of Suicide
Colt, G.H., 2006, Scribner

Written by a writer for Life magazine, this well-researched book covers all aspects of suicide, including its social, cultural, and legal history, the biological and psychological research available; attempts at prevention, the right-to-die movement; and the effects on survivors.

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 Perversion of Virtue

The Perversion of Virtue: Understanding Murder Suicide
Joiner, T., 2014, Oxford University Press

Of the approximately 38,500 deaths by suicide in the U.S. annually, about two percent -- between 750 and 800 -- are murder-suicides.  The horror of murder-suicides looms large in the public consciousness -- they are reported in the media with more frequency and far more sensationalism than most suicide, and yet we have little understanding of this grave form of violence.

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 Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative

Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative
Goldsmith, S.K., Pellmar, T.C., Kleinman, A.M., Bunney, W.E., 2002 National Academies Press

Rich in data, this book strikes an intensely personal chord, featuring compelling quotes about people's experiences with suicide.  It explores the factors that raise a person's risk of suicide: psychological and biological factors including substance abuse, the link between childhood trauma and later suicide, and the impact of family life, economic status, religion, and other social and cultural conditions.  This new volume will be of special interest to policy makers, administrators, researchers, practitioners, and journalists working in the field of mental health.



 Suicidal Mind

The Suicidal Mind
Shneidman, E.S., 1996, New York: Oxford University Press

This groundbreaking work presents cases that reveal the inner workings of the suicidal mind, and offers practical, explicit steps to assist in treating a suicidal individual.



The Suicide Funeral (or Memorial Service): Honoring Their Memory, Comforting Their Survivors
Edited by Melinda Moore and Daniel Roberts

To our knowledge nothing with The Suicide Funeral (or Memorial Service): Honoring Their Memory, Comforting Their Survivors' scope and depth has ever been published. This is an aid to anyone who will be called upon to do a funeral for the nearly 43,000 suicides in America each year. This book is designed to assist clergy, chaplains, and other faith leaders as they develop sermons and homilies for a funeral service. Its mandate is to help those searching for inspiration even though they may feel confused or uncertain undertaking such a daunting assignment. Those who plan and lead a funeral service may enable family and friends to understand and participate intentionally in their grief process.

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Suicide Movies

Suicide Movies: Social Patterns 1900-2000
By Steven Stack and Barbara Bowman (2012)

How is suicide portrayed in the cinema and what does it mean for suicide prevention? The first-ever comprehensive study of film suicide analyzes more than 1,500 film suicides.

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 Suicidology: Essays

Suicidology: Essays in Honor of Edwin S. Shneidman
Leonaars, A., 1993, New Jersey: Jason Aronson

Represents the current state of our understanding of suicide and the practice of suicide prevention.  The 23 chapters, written by foremost experts in the field, cover topics from history to psychology of survivors.



 Understanding Suicide

Understanding Suicide: Why we don't and how we might
Rogers, J.R., Lester, D., 2010, Hogrefe

This provocative and erudite book highlights theoretical and methodological challenges that have plagued and continue to plague the field of suicidology.  The basic premise is that recent research has not served to advance our understanding of suicidal behavior, but tends to repeat older research, often apparently without awareness that we are often merely "reinventing the wheel."  As the authors maintain: "Very little of consequence has appeared in suicidology for many years - no new theory and no ground-breaking research."

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 Waking Up

Waking Up: Climbing Through the Darkness
Wise, T.L., 2003, Pathfinder Publishing of CA

This compelling narrative of a woman's near-fatal deliberate overdose following the death of her husband provides an emotionally honest road map for using therapy to treat depression and restore hope.  Honest, jargon-free, and written from a patient's perspective, this work explores a range of issues underlying depression, including child abuse, loss, long-term caregiving, and bereavement.



 Why People Die by Suicide

Why People Die by Suicide
Joiner, T., 2006, Harvard University Press

Written with the purpose of reaching both the layperson with little to no knowledge of suicide as well as the seasoned scientist or clinician with years of experience and study, Joiner provides an informative and engaging fresh look at this perplexing social problem. Basing his theory on a primarily cognitive-behavioral framework, the author explains that for an individual to die by suicide, he or she must have both desires for death as well as the capability for lethal self-injury.




Legal and Ethical Issues


Case Against Assisted Suicide 

The Case against Assisted Suicide: For the Right to End-of-Life Care
Henden, H., Foley, K.,, 2002, The Johns Hopkins University Press

An argument against physician-assisted suicide. 



 Life and Death Decisions

Life and Death Decisions: Psychological and Ethical Considerations in End-of-Life Care
Kleespies, P.M., 2004, American Psychological Association

Offering a presentation of the major moral, value-based, and ethical principles that guide end-of-life decision making, including autonomy, beneficence, mercy and justice, the author reviews the crucial elements of informed consent, competence, and other issues that guide the American legal system's stance on this controversial debate.  This book articulates the role and functions that mental health practitioners - particularly psychologists - can fulfill as members of end-of-life interdisciplinary teams to help individuals interact more fully with their loved ones and make real decisions on a path toward increasing probability of death with dignity.



 Psychosocial Issues Near End of Life

Psychosocial Issues Near the End of Life: A Resource for Professional Care Providers
Werth, J.L., Blevins, D., 2005, American Psychological Association

This is a collection of scholarly studies of the issues - physical, moral, ethical and psychological - that face professional care providers, especially psychologists, when treating the terminally ill patient.



 Risk Management with Suicidal Patients

Risk Management with Suicidal Patients
Bongar, B., Maris, R.W., Silverman, M.M., Harris, E.A., Packman, W.L.,1998, Guifold Publications

Drawing upon years of clinical experience, as well as extensive malpractice claims data and relevant case law, this book outlines effective assessment, management, and treatment procedures that balance the need for high-quality care with the requirements for court-determined and statutory standards.



 Suicidal Patient

The Suicidal Patient: Clinical and Legal Standards of Care
Bongar, B., 1992, American Psychological Association

Proposes standards of care and a working model for the assessment, management, and treatment of the suicidal patient in both inpatient and outpatient contexts.  Offers an integrated clinical and legal approach to an understanding of patient suicide.





Prevention, Schools & Special Populations



Child and Adolescent Suicidal Behavior 

Child and Adolescent Suicidal Behavior: School-Based Prevention, Assessment, and Intervention
Miller, D.N., 2011, The Guilford Press

Meeting a crucial need, this book distill the best current knowledge on child and adolescent suicide prevention into comprehensive guidelines for school-based practitioners.  The author draws on extensive research and clinical experience to provide best-practice recommendations for developing school-wide prevention programs, conducting risk assessments, and intervening at different levels of intensity with students at risk.  Also presented are postvention procedures for responding effectively if a suicide does occur.  Legal and ethical issues are addressed in detail.  Reproducible handouts include sample assessment questions for students, teachers, and parents; the book's large-size format and lay-flat binding facilitate photocopying.

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Crisis Counseling and Therapy 

Crisis Counseling and Therapy
Rainer, J., Brown, F., 2006, The Haworth Press

Intervention, as a clinical technique to combat the debilitating effects of stress that accompany crisis, is quickly becoming a social movement.  Crisis Counseling and Therapy provides comprehensive instruction in this important and rapidly burgeoning field with a systemic three-phase method that is simple and practical.  This innovative model can easily be incorporated into the clinician's practice to provide effective, strategic intervention. 

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 Myths About Suicide

Myths about Suicide
Joiner, T., 2010, Harvard University Press

Dr. Joiner uses data to trounce some myths, draws on clinical storytelling to give others a black eye and blends classic literature with current mass media to challenge every reader to "rethink" his or her understanding of suicidal behavior.

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Public Safety Suicide



Public Safety Suicide: The Human Dimension

By: Mary Van Haute and John M. Violanti (2015)


This book takes an individual human approach to the problem of suicide in public safety occupations. As a researcher in suicide, coauthor John Violanti relies heavily upon statistics to make the case for prevention. These worthwhile statistics help to form the big picture, but one must keep in mind that these are just statistics and not people.

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Suicide in Nazi Germany
Goeschel, C., 2009, Oxford University Press

Christian Goeschel offers a unique analysis of how ordinary Germans responded to the political, social and economic crisis of Nazism by comparing suicide rates across Germany from the birth of the Weimer Republic with Imperial Germany's defeat in 1918 to the downfall of Nazi dictatorship in 1945.

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Suicide in Schools: A Practitioner's Guide to Multi-Level Prevention, Assessment, Intervention, and Postvention
Erbacher, T. A., Singer, J. B.,  Poland, S., 2015

Suicide in Schools provides school-based professionals with practical, easy-to-use guidance on developing and implementing effective suicide prevention, assessment, intervention and postvention strategies. The authors include detailed case examples, innovative approaches for professional practice, usable handouts, and internet resources on the best practice approaches to effectively work with youth who are experiencing a suicidal crisis as well as those students, families, school staff, and community members who have suffered the loss of a loved one to suicide.

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 Suicide in Later Life

Suicide Later in Life: Recognizing the Warning Signs
Osgood, N., 1992, Lexington

Discusses reasons for elderly suicide, describes the symptoms and warning signs, and proposes risk reduction strategies.  Written for older adults, family members and caregivers, and all those who provide services for older clients/patients.



 Suicide Intervention in Schools

Suicide Intervention in the Schools
Poland, S., 1989, Guilford Publications

Provides step-by-step guidelines for setting up and maintaining a comprehensive crisis intervention program.




Suicide Prevention: Resources for the Millennium
Lester, D., 2001, Taylor and Francis

Suicide Prevention presents an evaluations of the past, presents, and future of suicidal behavior and efforts to prevent suicide.  Authors from varying disciplines of psychology, sociology, and psychiatry analyze suicide in the opening chapters.  Through the exploration of the roles of these disciplines, the roles of primary physicians, and the impact of suicide prevention education in schools, the contributors describe the history of suicidology and the changes necessary for improvement.  The book concludes with a section detailing the goals and activities of organizations designed prevent and facilitate suicide.





Surviving Suicide Books




A Beautiful Here: Emerging from the Overwhelming Darkness of My Son's Suicide
By: Linda Phillips

Linda Phillips followed the light and found her joy after emerging from the overwhelming darkness of losing her son to suicide following a lifelong struggle with severe depression. In the decades since, the state of mental health care has declined. In this tender retelling of the most painful experience of her life, Phillips not only gives raw insight into the reeling effects of suicide on her family and herself, she examines the process that helped her regain herself in the aftermath. Her insights offer a hopeful, effective solution. A very simple idea that can be initiated by any passionate, caring person. In this case, the focus is on musicians and the creative community as well as the community at large. It’s called Nu├ži’s Space.


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Broken Heart Still Beats

A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies
McCracken, A., Semel, M., 1999 Hazeldon Publications

This anthology of poetry, fiction, and essays compiled from the literateure of loss and grief is remarkable.  The authors have included pieces from everyone William Shakespeare to Dwight D. Eisenhower whose works explore the shock, the grief, and the search for meaning that come with the death of a child.  Each piece is clearly introduced explaining the details surrounding the person's loss.



 After Suicide Loss

After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief
Baugher, B., Jordan, J., 2001, The FamilyLoss Project

This book is written specifically to help survivors during the first year after a suicide.  It is organized around the first few days, few weeks, few month, etc.  It is short, concise and very practical in its orientation to providing concrete suggestions and help for survivors.



 After Suicide: Help for Bereaved

After Suicide: Help for the Bereaved
Clark, S., 1995, Hill of Content

This is a comprehensive handbook dealing with a specific area of bereavement after suicide - and fills the gap in the grief and suicide literature.  It shows practical commonsense and careful guidelines to help people find their way through this time.  It is an excellent resource for both those who have suffered and those who would support them.



 After the Darkest Hour

After the Darkest Hour the Sun Will Shine Again
Mehren, E., 1997, Fireside

This helpful and inspirational book clearly helps bereaved parents deal with the many questions and issues that come up for them.  It's both a guide and a meditation that offers support and comfort.  It is written in a clear and simple style with short stories dealing with difficult issues.  The advice and solace found in this small book is very valuable.



 Artful Grief

Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing
Strouse, S., 2013, Balboa Press

Artful Grief is a decade long story of loss by an art therapist, in the aftermath of her teenage daughter's suicide. On October 11, 2001,  Sharon received a phone call in the middle of the night from the New York City Police Department telling her that her seventeen year old daughter Kristin, had "fallen" from the roof of her college dormitory. So she began her journey into the labyrinth of unspeakable grief.  As her first year drew to a close she found no comfort in traditional therapy, and no solace in spoken or written words. In surrender to her inner art therapist's guidance, she began to create collages. She cut and tore images out of magazines and glued them on various size paper. The paper was a safe and sacred container, receptive to the fullness of emotion, story and paradox. Over time there was transformation and healing.

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 A Hike for Mike

A Hike for Mike: An Uplifting Adventure Across the Sierra Nevada for Depression Awareness
Alt, J., 2005, Dreams Shared Publications

The author writes about the physical and emotional challenges of the trek and its parallels to our journey through life and grief.

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 A Long Shadowed Grief

A Long Shadowed Grief: Suicide and its Aftermath
Smith, H.I., 2007, Cowley Publications

In the aftermath of suicide, friends and family face a long road of grief and reflection.  With a sympathetic eye and a firm hand, Harold Ivan Smith searches for the place of the spirit in the wake of suicide.  He asks how one may live a spiritual life as a survivor, and he addresses the way faith is permanently altered by the residue of stigma that attaches to suicide.

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A Suicide Note of Hope: More than a Memoir
By: Hank McGovern
In A Suicide Note of Hope, I document an adventurous and traumatic memoir characterized by empowerment, inspiration, transformation, and humor. In "Goodbye", I begin the note and describe the precipitator, a bogus charge of sexual harassment made against me that was published in the Washington Post. In "Early Years: Chaos, Trauma, and Adventure", I describe a childhood fraught with pain, beginning at age 3 when my mother "fell" down the steps, broke her neck and died. Subsequently, I had repeated rejections, being moved around so often that I lived in 10 different homes with that many sets of parental figures.

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 A Winding Road

A Winding Road: A Handbook for Those Supporting the Suicide Bereaved
Linn-Gust, M., Peters, J., 2010, Chellehead Works

"This book is a book of care-giving for caregivers.  It is written and edited by caregivers who have walked the walk as both those who work with those bereaved by suicide and gathered an octet of guest authors individually and collectively offer a wealth of relevant experience to the reader.  All told, the quilt they have woven for you is warm, comforting, and replete with enriched patterns of perspective and information that are enormously helpful to those who work with those bereaved by suicide." Lanny Berman, PhD, ABPP

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All the Way

All the Way: My Life on Ice
By: Jordin Tootoo with Stephen Brunt

It seemed as though nothing could stop Jordin Tootoo on the ice. The captain, a fan favourite, a star in international competition, Tootoo was always a leader. And when he was drafted by Nashville in 2001 and made the Predators out of camp in 2003, he became a leader in another way--as the first player of Inuk descent to suit up in the NHL.

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 Bart Speaks Out

Bart Speaks Out: Breaking the Silence on Suicide
Goldman, L., Goldman, J.P., 1998, Western Psychological Services

Bart, a white terrier, narrates his story to losing Charlie to suicide.  A workbook for young children to journal their feelings about the loss of a loved one to suicide, this is an ideal book to use with a parent or counselor who can assist the child in filling in the pages.



 Before Their Time

Before Their Time: Adult Children's Experiences of Parental Suicide
Stimming, M.T., Stimming, M., 1999, Temple University

Before Their Time is the first work to present adult children survivors accounts of their loss, grief, and resolution following a parent's suicide. In one section, the book offers the perspective of sons and daughters on the deaths of mothers, in another, the perspective of sons and daughters on the death of fathers.  In a third section, four siblings reflect on the shared loss of their mother.  Topics such as the impact of the parent's suicide on adult children's personal and professional choices, marriages and parenting, sibling and surviving parent relationships are explored with sensitivity and insight.  Various coping skills, including humor, are described.




Blue Genes: A Memoir of Loss and Survival
Lukas, C., 2009, Anchor

Christopher Lukas authored this book eleven years after the suicide of his brother, Tony, a two-time Pulitzer-winner.  Tony, who was being treated for depression, ended his life in 1997.  Christopher Lukas, himself a writer-producer-director in television, wrote this book in the hope of coming to an understanding of his relationship with his brother with whom he had difficulty finding "common ground."

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 Brooklyn's Battle

Brooklyn's Battle: A Daughter's War with Anxiety and Depression: After a Caterpillar's Darkest Days, It Becomes a Butterfly - There Is Hope in Darkness
Loveday, K., Belair, B., 2013, Brooklyn's Battle

Read the personal story of how a family survives and thrives in the middle of battling anxiety and depression through faith, dedication, and love. In Batavia, Illinois, we lost three teenagers to suicide in the past three years. The author wages war against the Beast that threatens to take her daughter, Brooklyn, too.  Brooklyn's poetry speaks volumes to the agony that millions of teenagers and adults go through daily as they struggle with anxiety and depression. She is able to express through her words the angst millions feel but are unable to vocalize. Her poetry shows the spectrum from the dark side of these disorders to the hope that lies within her.  It is her dream that through this book, we can take the shame and stigma away from living with anxiety and depression.

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 But I Didn't Say Goodbye

But I Didn't Say Goodbye: For Parents and Professionals Helping Child Suicide Survivors
Rubel, B., 2000 Griefwork Center, Inc.

This hands-on book benefits those who want to learn how to help a child after a sudden loss.  The power of this book comes from the most frequently asked questions a bereaved child asks, and the honest, respectful, age-appropriate answers from caring adults.  Caregivers get intervention strategies, complete with bereavement referrals and up-to-date recommended resources.  Adults get a head start by the ready-to-copy, interactive, non-threatening questions and activities wherein the child's thoughts and feelings are shared.



 Cracked Not Broken

Cracked Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt
Hines, K., 2013, Rowman & Littlefield 

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognizable structures to define a modern city. Yet, for author Kevin Hines the bridge is not merely a marker of space or a time.  Instead, the bridge marks the beginning of his remarkable story.  At 19 years old, Kevin attempted to take his own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge  - a distance which took four seconds to fall.  Recently being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, Kevin had begun to hear voices telling him he had to die, and days before his attempt, he began to believe them.
The fall would break his body, but not his spirit.  His story chronicles the extraordinary will of the author to live mentally well in the face of his mental illness: bipolar disorder with psychotic features. With each mental breakdown, however, the author's desire to live mentally well - and to be a mental health advocate - pulls him from the depths of his condition. Kevin's story is a remarkable testament to the strength of the human spirit and a reminder to us to love the life we have. His story also reminds us that living mentally well takes time, endurance, hard work, and support.  With these disciplines in place, those living with even very difficult diagnoses can achieve better lives for themselves and those who help to support and care for them.

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 Dear Mallory:

Dear Mallory: Letters to a Teenage Girl Who Killed Herself
Richards, L., 2012, New Middle Press

This book can help teens and adults who suffer, because it encourages people to look beyond their immediate pain to future possibilities, including the potential that exists in current loving relationships which too often can be overlooked.  It can help the parents of troubled teens, and those who've lost loved ones to suicide, because it offers valuable insights and wisdom in a personal, straightforward manner.

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Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Sibling
Linn-Gust, M., 2001, Chellehead Works

The first comprehensive resource for sibling suicide survivors.  The author takes the reader through the personal experiences of losing her younger sister and weaves in the available research for sibling survivors.  She explains suicide, the grief process, and how sibling death impacts the brothers and sisters left behind, and offers practical advice for surviving the loss of a sibling to suicide.



 Dying to be Free

Dying to Be Free: A Healing Guide for Families After a Suicide
Cobain, B., Larch, J., 2006, Hazeldon

Excellent healing guide for survivors of suicide.  Recognizing that grief work is a personal and unique in each individual, this book is recommended as a beacon of hope and understanding to those who have suffered the pain and loss of a loved one to suicide.



 Figuring Sh!t Out

Figuring Sh!t Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival
By: Amy Biancolli (2014)

Shockingly single. Amy Biancolli's life went off script more dramatically than most after her husband of twenty years jumped off the roof of a parking garage. Left with three children, a three-story house, and a pile of knotty psychological complications, Amy realizes the flooding dishwasher, dead car battery, rapidly growing lawn, basement sump pump, and broken doorknob aren't going to fix themselves. She also realizes that "figuring shit out" means accepting the horrors that came her way, rolling with them, slogging through them, helping others through theirs, and working her way through life with love and laughter.

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Finding Peace

Finding Peace Without All The Pieces: After A Loved One's Suicide
By: LaRita Archibald (2012)

Launched with a powerful narrative thrust of the suicide of her son in 1978, LaRita Archibald leads the reader from the initial trauma of violent death, through the ragged, brutal and unknown psychological and emotional landscape that must be traversed to find eventual peace. Using lessons learned from decades of work with suicide bereaved LaRita helps survivors of suicide loss have a framework for understanding the complexities of suicide grief and the reassurance that what they are experiencing is normal for what they have experienced. She gives names to the unsettling experiences of 'phantom pain' and 'flashbacks' and validates feelings of anger, responsibility, frustration, even relief, as well as the need to search for answers, reasons and cause. By addressing the concept of 'choice' and the impact of religious beliefs, misconceptions and age-old bias, LaRita helps uncover layers of cultural influence that often create barriers to healing. 

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Free to Dance, A Suicide Survivor's Memoir
By: Ca-Asia A. Lane

Death by suicide is a serious topic that is rarely discussed. It is the tenth-leading cause of death for adults in the United States and the second cause of death for children under the age of eighteen. For every suicide death, countless survivors are left traumatized, accompanied by grief and the heavy weight of emotional pain. Ca-Asia knows the shock, despair, confusion and depression marked by suicide's aftermath. The words spilled across these pages journey how God healed her fragile heart and mind back together again after her husband's death by suicide. Her story is a gift of encouragement for this who struggle with the loss of a loved one and tread along a similar path. In the midst of inexplicable heartache and adversity, her testimony reveals how she was literally able to dance and praise at her Master's feet for healing, hope and ultimately her freedom.

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Guardian Golden Gate


Guardian of the Golden Gate: Protecting the Line Between Hope and Despair
By: Kevin Briggs with Sam Mellinger (2015)



In this debut memoir, a retired cop shares his life experiences and insights that contributed to his helping hundreds of people decide against suicide. As a highway patrol officer, Briggs beat included San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge a top suicide destination. Unhappy people are, just like tourists, drawn to the iconic landmark's beautiful setting and mysterious fogs. I know that every ten days or so, someone walks on the Bridge and never comes back, writes Briggs of his two decades working the bridge, during which he lost only two people to suicide and helped to save more than 200.



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 Guiding Your Child Through Grief

Guiding Your Child Through Grief
Ernswiler, M.A., Ernswiler, J.P., 2000, Bantam

Backed by the latest research in child psychology and filled with case histories, this title answers questions that parents and caregivers need to ask, such as: Is it normal for a child to act as if nothing has happened? Is an infant too little to understand the loss of a parent? Do children blame themselves for the death of a family member? Should I worry about a child committing suicide after a death in the family?




Healing the Grieving Child's Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Families, Friends & Caregivers
Wolfalt, A., 2000, Companion Press

Helpful to adults to understand grief and mourning in children.



 Healing the Hurt Spirit

Healing the Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide
Greenleaf, C., 2007, St. Dymphna Press

A unique book consisting of 365 daily affirmations, Greenleaf draws from her personal experience as a survivor as well as professional experience in death education.  Each day consists of a topic specific to survivors, along with a related book for meditational purposes.  This is an inspirational and meaningful book for survivors.

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 Healing Your Grieving Heart for Kids

Healing Your Grieving Heart for Kids
Wolfalt, A., 2000, Companion Press

Helpful for families with children ages 6 to 12 who have lost a loved one.



 His Bright Light

His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina
Steel, D., 1998, Delacote Press

At once a loving legacy and an unsparing depiction of a devastating illness, Danielle Steel's tribute to her lost son is a gift of hope, healing, and understanding to us all.



 History of a Suicide

History of a Suicide: My Sister's Unfinished Life
Bialosky, J., 2011, Atria Books

The unexpected loss of a sibling is always shattering, but when suicide is that cause grief is rendered more complicated and haunting.  The death of novelist, poet, and editor Bialosky's much younger sister, Kim, at age 21 in 1990 was one grim loss among many.

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Hope After Suicide Cover

Hope after Suicide: one woman's journey from darkness to light
Parmley, W., 2014, Cedar Fort, Inc.

After her mother took her own life, Wendy Parmley learned firsthand the heartache, despair, and loneliness that accompanies suicide loss. Reinvent your definition of saved, perfect, and forgiveness as you read this true narrative of a woman opening her heart years after her mother's suicide and learn how to overcome any loss in your own life.

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 In the Wake of Suicide

In the Wake of Suicide: Stories of the People Left Behind
Alexander, V., 1998, Jossey-Bass

The stories in this book chronicle individual journeys through grief after suicide - from the initial impact of the loss to its face in the survivor's lives years later.  The intent of the book is to help survivors give voice and meaning to their loss.



 Joker and the Rookie

Joker and the Rookie
Dangerfield, A., 2013, Howell

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 Life and Loss

Life and Loss: A Guide to Help Grieving Children
Goldman, L., 1994, Taylor & Francis

An information guide for helping children deal with general grief issues, as well as hands-on techniques for grief resolutions.  Useful for parents as well as clinical sessions by mental health professionals.



Living Through Suicide Loss with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD): An Insider Guide for Individuals, Family, Friends, and Professional Responders
By: Lisa Morgan, M.Ed.

Losing someone to suicide can open up a world of pain, confusion and grief, and for people with ASDs, the effect can be acute and extremely challenging. Reaching out to fellow Aspies, Lisa Morgan proffers her insight and advice to ensure that others on the autism spectrum don't have to face suicide loss alone.

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Losing a son to suicide: A poetic journey through grief
By: Randall L. Stepp

My personal story of losing my 15 year old son Brandon to suicide. In the wake of his suicide, I began writing poetry to process the flood of emotions that I was dealing with. If you have lost someone you love to suicide, then every word in this book will resonate with you. If your life hasn't been touched by suicide, then my thoughts and poems will provide a glimpse into the carnage left behind when you lose a loved one to suicide.

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Luna's Red Hat: An Illustrated Storybook to Help Children Cope with Loss and Suicide
By: Emmi Smid

This beautifully-illustrated storybook is designed as a tool to be read with children aged 6+ who have experienced the loss of a loved one by suicide. Suicide always causes shock, not just for the family members but for everyone around them, and children also have to deal with these feelings. The book approaches the subject sensitively and includes a guide for parents and professionals by bereavement expert, Dr Riet Fiddelaers-Jaspers. It will be of interest to anyone working with, or caring for, children bereaved by suicide, including bereavement counsellors, social workers and school staff, as well as parents, carers and other family members.

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 Matt's Last Call

Matt's Last Call: Surviving Our Protectors
Zielinski, J., 2012, Tate

Life does not train you for this.  Tragedies like this can easily separate you from your sanity.  All of the usual unanswerable questions begin to flood your mind. And so the blame game moves on. Maybe as parents we were at fault. On and on it goes. Almost from the beginning, however, the Lord would not permit me to go there.  These seemed to be some God-oriented plan in motion that would turn this evil into something good. When Julie Zielinski's fun-loving, marine, sheriff deputy son commits suicide, her world comes crashing down. Questions flood her mind: How could she have stopped this? What next? And mostly, why? As Julie grieves her son in Matt's Last Call: Surviving Our Protectors, she reflects on the life he lived and the memories she will hold on to forever. 

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 Mourning After Suicide

Mourning After Suicide (Looking Up)
Bloom, L.A., 1986, Pilgrim Press

Originally published in 1986, the information presented is as useful today as it was then.  A small, easy to ready work, which provides practical information on grieving a death by suicide.  The author draws on her own experience of losing a son to suicide, experts writing on suicidology, and her own spiritual beliefs.



 My Brother Peter

My Brother Peter
Berger, N., 1998, Robert Davies Publishing

Twenty-seven years after her brother Peter's apparent suicide in 1968, Nomi Berger set out to uncover the truth not only about how he died, but also about how he lived.  This book chronicles her search for that truth, together with her efforts to purge herself of her own powerful guilt.  It also describes a sister's journey toward healing, illustrating that there's no statute of limitations on either guild or grief, but more importantly, on one's ability to seek and eventually find peace of mind.



Memoir of Hope

My Daughter, Her Suicide, and God: A Memoir of Hope
By Marjorie Antus

My Daughter, Her Suicide, and God charts one mother's course as she reconciles herself to the tragedy and welcomes her daughter and God back into her heart. Told with uncommon candor, Marjorie’s moving, somber reflection on suicide and its emotional impact on families and faith is ultimately a story about love.

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 My Living Will

My Living Will: A Father's Story of Loss & Hope
By: John Trautwein

My Living Will is the story of former major league pitcher John Trautwein, and the unbelievable tragedy which befell him and his family when his fifteen-year-old son, Will, took his own life. There had been no warnings, no obvious signs of anxiety, depression, or unhappiness; nothing. A family and a community were left stunned as they pondered how a young man like Will Trautwein, a healthy, happy, popular, athletic, and musical teenager, who came from such a loving home, could lose the will to live.

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 My Son.. My Son

My Son...My Son:  A Guide to Healing After Death, Loss, or Suicide
Bolton, I., Mitchell, C., 1984, Bolton Press

A mother's and professional counselor's personal story of her son's suicide.  It is for survivors who want assistance in their healing and for others who want to understand the survivor experience.



 No Time to Say Goodbye

No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One
Fine, C., 1997, Doubleday

The survivor of her husband's suicide, the author draws on her own experience and on conversations with many other survivors - as well as on the knowledge of counselor and mental health professionals - to offer a strong helping hand and guidance to those left behind after suicide.  Both professionals and survivors will benefit from the self-disclosure of those who share their pain and honesty.



 No Way to Behave at a Funeral

No Way to Behave at a Funeral
Braun, N., 2011, Port Campbell Press

This is the story of Noel who lost Maris, his beloved wife of 42 years, to suicide following years of struggling with depression... Noel accepted there was no way around his anguish and met suffering head on.  His pain allowed him to discover the richness within him and to grow in wisdom which he hopes might be of benefit to others.  Maris' death did not shut her out of Noel's life.  She remains a very real presence.  This is a lover story with a difference.

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 Our Forever Angel

Our Forever Angel: Surviving the Loss of a Loved One to Suicide
Scholz, B., 2002, 1st Books Library

This book offers empathy and hope, tugging readers to new heights of understanding and encouraging survivors to rebuild lives and put the past where it rightfully belongs: behind them.  "Is There Life After Suicide?" is the provocative question Barb Scholz has asked and answered, building her book on foundation of introspection, hope, and ultimately, inspiration.



 Passing Reflections

Passing Reflections: Meditations on Grief
Spexarth, K., 2010, Big Think Media

Meditations on Grief, is the earliest part of this journey in coping with grief and loss.  These poems are meant to help other suicide survivors see that they are not alone. It is also meant to help those who would be of service to survivors begin to fathom what it is to suffer traumatic loss. The author's greatest hope is to help people learn how to transform suffering into healing, holding all compassion.

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Resurrection: A True Story of Power and Forgiveness
McDermott, P.A., 2014, Jane Curry Publishing

Matthew's dream was not uncommon. The plan was to get out of Sydney and settle down in the small country town of Temora NSW. His dream was to eventually buy a little farm, start his career as a high school teacher in a small town, and have a family. A simple plan you would think. Matthew lasted in Temora for just 6 months. Patricia's memoir reveals the untold stories from Temora. 

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 Rocky Roads

Rocky Roads
Linn-Gust, M., 2010, Chellehead Works

Any professional is fast to acknowledge that every person's grief journey is a unique path.  Still, Rocky Roads does attempt to present a road map-a loose trail to maneuver through, consider, and be forewarned of treacherous turns ahead.  Rocky Roads is a unique presentation of basic psychological autopsy of the "typical" family in crisis after a suicide.  It is immensely helpful for all survivors, but perhaps vital for counselors who are faced with a family in crisis after a suicide.

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Seasons of Healing: A Suicide Survivor's Notebook
By: Emily Margaret Stuparyk

Coping with the suicide of a loved one can be completely devastating. The author befriended a lovely lady, Essie Arthur, through her first book, When Only the Love remains. When Essie tragically took her own life, Emily plunged into the stigmatized world of suicide, read countless books on the topic and journaled her way to healing through the writing of this book.

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 Seeking Hope

Seeking Hope: Stories of the Suicide Bereaved
Linn-Gust, M., Cerel, J., 2011 Chellehead Works

Telling your story can be, for many, the best way to begin the healing process following suicide.  Drs. Linn-Gust and Cerel have published a collection of survivor stories that will allow each reader the most intimate connection with the authors.  Contained in these pages are stories that will serve as the installation of hope for those who are newly bereaved by suicide and validation to those who have forged their own healing from a loss to suicide.  In addition, Seeking Hope will provide insight for those clinicians or caregivers who wish to be a resource for anyone bereaved by suicide.

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Suicide Tsunami


Suicide Tsunami: Living in the Aftermath

By: Sheralyn Rose

Grieving a suicide can be an isolating experience. Shrouded in secrecy, stigma, and shame, suicide not only can be almost impossible to discuss openly, it also challenges many of our most fundamental values. Following the suicide of her husband, author Sheralyn Rose felt everything familiar had been swept away by an enormous wave. Attempting to adjust to the sadness that threatened to engulf her led her to question what influences someone to take their own life. Her need to understand the pain that precedes suicide motivated her to reveal the emotional roller coaster that often follows this dramatic event.

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 Surviving Suicide: Help to Heal your Heart

Surviving Suicide: Help to Heal Your Heart-Life Stories from Those Left Behind
Hays, H., 2005, Brown Books Publishing Group

The author, a survivor and an award-winning journalist writes her story as well as the story of other survivors.



 Struck by Living

Struck by Living From Depression to Hope
Hersh, J.K,  2010, Brown Books Publishing Group

Julie Hersh shares her personal struggle with depression and her subsequent journey to finding hope.  Hersh's story demonstrates that depression can and does impact people of various social and economic backgrounds.  Even when surroundings such as her's seem "perfect" by society's standards, depression can hit.

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 Teen Suicide Risk

Teen Suicide Risk: A Practitioners Guide to Screening, Assessment, and Management
King, C., Foster, C., Rogalski, K., 2013, The Guilford Press

Meeting a vital need, this book helps clinicians rapidly identify risks for suicidal behavior and manage an at-risk teen's ongoing care.  It provides clear guidelines for conducting suicide risk screenings and comprehensive risk assessments and implementing immediate safety-focused interventions, as well as longer-term treatment plans. Designed for day-to-day use in private practice, schools, or other settings, the volume is grounded in a strong evidence base.  It features quick-reference clinical pointers, sample dialogues with teens and parents, and reproducible assessment and documentation tools.  Most of the reproducible materials can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8 1/2" x 11" size.

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 The Coldest Night

The Coldest Night: A Family's Experience of Suicide
Milton, C.A., 2009, Veritas Publications

Carol Anne Milton takes us on an emotionally charged journey as she recounts her son Alan's suicide.  As she chronicles the events from the time she learned that her son had taken his life, through the aftermath of despair and grief, and ultimately her resolution to help others, her words pierce your chest and echo the tragedy of her loss in the chambers of your heart.

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The Deafening Silence: A Memoir
Manes, R, 2003, First Books

This memoir, told from the vantage point and inquisitive 11 year-old who sustained the loss of her father to suicide during the mid-1950s, offers penetrating insights into the mental life of youthful survivors.

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The Girl Behind the Door
By: John Brooks
Reviewed by William Feigelman, PhD

An award-winning, candid, and compelling story of an adoptive father’s search for the truth about his teenage daughter’s suicide: “Rarely have the subjects of suicide, adoption, adolescence, and parenting been explored so openly and honestly” (John Bateson, Former Executive Director, Contra Costa Crisis Center, and author of The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge).

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 The Girl with the Crooked Smile

The Girl with the Crooked Smile: Stuck in a Moment... and the Pearls of Wisdom that Pulled Her Through It 
Zeledon, D., 2013, Sterling

The Girl with the Crooked Smile - Stuck in a Moment is a riveting tale of survivor sprinkled with true wit--a la Erma Bombeck meets potty-mouthed Joan Rivers--intertwined with self discovery, honesty, tragedy and the unbreakable will to survive it all.  Darah takes the reader on an intense and moving cross-country journey that begins in Latin America when a young, pregnant American mother of three is diagnosed with a brain tumor. The tragedies that follow are nothing less than mind-boggling and chaotic... a suicide, an armed robbery, a gruesome accident, and a business collapse resulting in complete financial ruin.  Although she felt stuck in the moment, she embodied hope and faith, and now shares the Pearls of Wisdom that pulled her through in this rich and authentic memoir.

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 The Final Leap

The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge
Bateson, J., 2012, University of California Press 

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful and most photographed structures in the world. It's also the most deadly.  Since it opened in 1937, more than 1,500 people have died jumping off the bridge, making it the top suicide site on earth. It's also the only international landmark without a suicide barrier. Weaving drama, tragedy, and politics against the backdrop of a world-famous city. The Final Leap is the first book ever written about Golden Gate Bridge suicides. John Bateson leads us on a fascinating journey that uncovers the reason for the design decision that led to so many deaths, provides insight into the phenomenon of suicide, and examines arguments for and against a suicide barrier.  He tells the stories of those who have died, the few who have survived, and those who have been affected--from loving families to the Coast Guard, from the coroner to suicide prevention advocates.

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 The Invisible Front

The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War
By: Yochi Dreazen (2014)

Major General Mark Graham was a decorated two-star officer whose integrity and patriotism inspired his sons, Jeff and Kevin, to pursue military careers of their own. His wife Carol was a teacher who held the family together while Mark's career took them to bases around the world. When Kevin and Jeff die within nine months of each other—Kevin commits suicide and Jeff is killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq—Mark and Carol are astonished by the drastically different responses their sons’ deaths receive from the Army. While Jeff is lauded as a hero, Kevin’s death is met with silence, evidence of the terrible stigma that surrounds suicide and mental illness in the military. Convinced that their sons died fighting different battles, Mark and Carol commit themselves to transforming the institution that is the cornerstone of their lives.

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The Suicide Survivor's Club
By: Rebecca Anderson
Art by Laurie Philips

5-book set Suicide Survivors’ Club: A Family’s Journey Through the Death of Their Loved One.


The experiences of a mother and three children are documented in their own words within individual books: Becky,PattieAidan, and Will, by artist Laurie Phillips. A fifth book, Parenting the Suicide Survivors’ Club, is a memoir written by Rebecca Anderson with art by Laurie Phillips.

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Touched by Suicide

Touched by Suicide: Hope and Healing After
By: Michael F. Myers and Carla Fine (2006)

Whether you are struggling with fresh grief at a loved one’s death by suicide or your loss happened years ago, you should know that you are not alone. 5 million Americans are affected—directly or indirectly—by this tragedy each year. And it sends us on a lifelong search for answers, both to the practical questions and the deepest question of all: Why? In this definitive guide book, Michael F. Myers, MD, a leading psychiatrist, and Carla Fine, author of the acclaimed No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One, combine their perspectives as a physician and a survivor to offer compassionate and practical advice to anyone affected by suicide.

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 Red Chocolate Elephants

Red Chocolate Elephants: For Children Bereaved by Suicide
Sands, D.C., 2010, Karridale Pty Limited

Red Chocolate Elephants' is an activity book and DVD resource for children bereaved by suicide.  In a world where children are often forgotten mourners, this unique combination of text, pictures, and voices - all in the words of bereaved children themselves - will be a treasured safe haven for young people to hear their fears, questions, and difficulties put into words by other children just like them.

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 Sanity and Grace

Sanity and Grace: A Journey of Suicide, Survival, and Grace
Collins, J., 2003, Tarcher/Penguin

In her book, Judy Collins effectively captures and conveys the vast array of feelings that suicide survivors experience.  Her lively "no holds barred" writing style makes this book an honest, profound read.  Readers should expect to be "changed" from the experience of reading this book.

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 Shaking Shame

Shaking Shame from Mental Illness
Agnello, E., 2012, Book Publishers Network

The suicide of her father hits Evonne Agnello hard, but when her brother follows suit four years later, she wonders if fate will send her along the same path.
Grappling with the deaths, handling the family business, and dealing with a mother needing care hundreds of miles away, Evonne finds depression pounding on the door.  But she stands firm--after some wobbles--determined to not let the intruder destroy her life.  Evonne releases her pain through writing, lets the Olympic Rainforest wash her solace, and confronts her brother's mental illness in his writing.

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 There Is No Goodbye

There is No Goodbye: Living with the Loss of a Child
Kandal, N., 2013, Full Court

Josh Kandal took his own life in December 2010. His mother Nancy has been living with her loss ever since, and - in these illuminating and deeply felt poems - has created a refuge for herself and hopefully others in her position. You will not forget the lessons she has learned in finding her way.

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 Trying to Remember, Forced to Forget

Trying to Remember, Forced to Forget (My Father's Suicide)
Kletter, J.R., 2001, Xlibris

After 51 years of not discussion her father's suicide to family or friends and with the death of her mother in 1998, the author began to delve into her past.  In this compelling book, Ms. Kletter tells her traumatic story about how she found her father hanging from a rope when she was four years old and her mother's denial, telling her it was a bad dream - it never happened.  As a result, Ms. Kletter was committed to a psychiatric institution for children.  In this very personal and revealing book, she details how the suicide has affected her life, personality and relationships.



 Unfinished Conversations

Unfinished Conversation: Healing from Suicide and Loss - A Guided Journey
Lesoine, R.E., Chophel, M., 2013 

Unfinished Conversations is not only a story of profound grief, but also a guided journey to healing. Based on a journal Robert Lesoine kept during the two years following the suicide of his best friend, Unfinished Conversations will help readers through the process of reflecting on and affirming the raw immediacy of survivors' emotions. Each short chapter focuses on a different aspect of the author's experience as he transforms his anger and guilt into understanding and forgiveness.

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 Vita's Will

Vita's Will: Real Life Lessons About Life, Death & Moving on
Gisonni, D., 2000, Writers Club Press

A high tech executive finds humility, humor, and heart when four family members die in four years.  Through these four deaths, Debbie learns to squeeze the sweetest wine from a bunch of sour grapes without wallowing in self-pity.  Her advice works for any traumatic situation.  You'll be moved to tears and laughter by her 44 inspirational real-life lessons and her nightly chats with God.



Voices of Healing and Hope: Conversations on Grief after Suicide
By: Iris Bolton

"My intention in writing this book is to assist people touched by suicide loss." says Iris Bolton. "I share my own journey following the suicide of our twenty-year-old son Mitch many years ago, as well as my bereavement process as a parent, counselor, and lecturer."

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 What to Do When Police Leave

What to do when the Police Leave: A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss
Jenkins, B., 1999, WBJ Press

This book provides much useful information to the surviving family members on how to deal with everything from the media to funeral arrangements.  The chapters on grief responses give realistic examples of common reactions to losses to homicide, suicides, and tragic accidents.  Recommended for survivors, mental health professionals, and caregivers.



When Suicide Comes Home

When Suicide Comes Home: A Father's Diary and Comments
Cox, P., 2002

No description available

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 Will's Choice

Will's Choice: A Suicidal Teen, a Desperate Mother, and a Chronicle of Recovery
Griffith, G., 2006, Harper

Whether you suffer from depression, are the parent of a child who does, or are a mental health professional, it is no hyperbole to state that all will benefit from his most compelling read: The author writes about her experience with her son's depression and suicide attempt.

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 Years of the Elephant

Years of the Elephant
Linthout, W., 2009, Ponent Mon S.L.

This book is the illustrated autobiographical account of Willy Lithout and his journey following the suicide of Sam, his 21 year old son in 2004.

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White Papers
Preventing Suicide through Improved Training in Suicide Risk Assessment and Care: An American Association of Suicidology Task Force Unabridged Report Addressing Serious Gaps in U.S. Mental Health Training, 2012 [PDF]

Continuity of Care for Suicide Prevention and Research, 2011 [PDF]

Recommendations for Inpatient and Residential Patients Known to be at Elevated Risk for Suicide, 2005 [PDF]

Report of the Committee on Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, 1996 [PDF]








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