Suicide Attempt Survivors | American Association of Suicidology
Suicide Prevention is Everyone's Business
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Suicide Attempt Survivors
In 2014, AAS took the historic step of approving a membership division for people who have been suicidal and their supporters. Our goal is to make sure people who've been suicidal are central to research, policy-making, public messaging, treatment and support. We're colleagues and friends.

As we become more open and confident in discussing suicidal thinking, the resources for us grow. We are encouraging and supporting people who want to step forward to share their stories and their hope.

A Journey Toward Health and Hope: Your Handbook for Recovery After a Suicide AttemptHandbook for Survivors
This handbook guides people through the first steps toward recovery and a hopeful future after a suicide attempt. Includes personal stories from survivors who share their experiences as well as strategies, such as re-establishing connections and finding a counselor to work with.

Download the handbook [PDF]
To order the handbook from SAMHSA, click here.

National initiatives, here and abroad

The Paul G. Quinnett Lived Experience Writing Contest is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for survivors of suicide attempts and suicidal ideation to share their stories of hope, heaving, recovery, and survival.

The Way Forward: This 2014 report, with video, by the Suicide Attempt Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention has groundbreaking recommendations for supporting anyone who's been suicidal. The primary writer was our division director, Dr. DeQuincy Lezine:

We highly recommend the resources listed at the end of "The Way Forward:"

Suicide Prevention Australia position statement: This helped set Australia's focus on the issue;

Making a Presentation?

Best Practices for Presentations by Suicide Loss and Suicide Attempt Survivors [PDF]

How you can help

Here's a guide:

Support Groups

List of all know attempt survivor support groups:

Manual for Support Groups for Suicide Attempt Survivors: This detailed guide by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in Los Angeles has been listed in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center's best practice registry.

The Center for Dignity, Recovery & Empowerment: This San Francisco organization headed by division member Eduardo Vega is pioneering a number of projects for attempt survivors, including a support group and speakers' bureau:

Supports for families and friends

A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department:

After an Attempt: The emotional impact of suicide attempts on families, by division member Heidi Bryan:

Beyond Blue: This Australia organization has produced this guide for loved ones:

Attempt survivors in the media

We work well with the media. Contact the division director, Dr. DeQuincy Lezine, at

Our emergence has received some high-profile coverage. A few examples:

The New York Times: Suicide Prevention Shed a Taboo: Talking About Attempts

National Public Radio:

The Boston Globe:

Personal Stories

The federal government (SAMHSA) is soon to publish a booklet for attempt survivors drawing on personal interviews.

Live Through This: A national series of portraits of attempt survivors, by division member Dese'Rae Stage:

Talking About Suicide: Dozens of interviews with attempt survivors, by division member Cara Anna:


"Can You Hear Me Now? New voices of attempt survivors:" A panel at the AAS conference in 2014, featuring division members Dese'Rae Stage, Samatha Nadler, Misha Kessler and Craig Miller:

Lived experience and Zero Suicide: A short video featuring researcher and division member Ursula Whiteside:

Now Matters Now: A skills training program for people who've been suicidal by division member Ursula Whiteside:

"A Voice at the Table:" A 30-minute video on attempt survivors featuring division members Craig Miller, Dese'Rae Stage and Cara Anna:

"The S Word:" A documentary trailer on division members and attempt survivors, by an Academy Award Winning Team:

TED Talks by attempt survivors:

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