AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SUICIDOLOGY
Suicide Prevention is Everyone's Business
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Recently Reviewed Books
A Beautiful Here
A Beautiful Here: Emerging from the Overwhelming Darkness of My Son's Suicide
By: Linda Phillips
Reviewed by William Feigelman, PhD
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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 Nuçi’s Space.


   
Luna's Red Hat
Luna's Red Hat: An Illustrated Storybook to Help Children Cope with Loss and Suicide
By: Emmi Smid
Reviewed by Ginny Sparrow
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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.
   
Developing a Forensic Practice
Developing a Forensic Practice: Operations and Ethics for Experts
By: William H. Reid
Reviewed by William "Bill" Schmitz Jr., Psy.D
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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.

   
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.
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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.
   
Survivors Club
The Suicide Survivor's Club
By: Rebecca Anderson
Art by Laurie Philips
Reviewed by Ginny Sparrow
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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.

   
Suicide Note of Hope
A Suicide Note of Hope: More than a Memoir
By: Hank McGovern
Reviewed by William Feigelman, PhD
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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. A soft humor can be felt in my embrace of these younger years. In "Death Kisses and Transformations", I reflect on numerous times when I came close to death and quote William Blake, "When one kisses death, life becomes infinitely sweet." I ultimately conclude poetically, "Death is my best friend. It reminds me to enjoy life more each day." The reader can learn about a number of self-help skills from meditation and assertive behavior to cognitive skills and self-hypnosis that I have used to struggle through an adult life with a flimsy childhood foundation. 
   
DBT in Schools 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
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Buy DBT in Schools: Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents (DBT STEPS-A)

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.
   
Girl Behind the Door
The Girl Behind the Door
By: John Brooks
Reviewed by William Feigelman, PhD
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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).
   
Aftermath  A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy
By: Sue Klebold
Reviewed by William Feigelman, PhD
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Reviewed by David N. Miller, PhD
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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?
   
All the Way
All the Way: My Life on Ice
By: Jordin Tootoo with Stephen Brunt
Reviewed by William "Bill" Schmitz Jr., Psy.D
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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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