Please visit my Why Suicide? Blog

“A must-read book for anyone whose life has been touched by suicide.  It’s compassionate, informative, and heartfelt.  Do yourself a favor and start the healing with this splendid book!”  — Dear Abby

Why Suicide Cover


This is exactly the book I searched for, but did not find, after my sister took her life nearly twenty years ago. What Eric Marcus knows so well is that for those of us left grieving, suicide is an emotional cataclysm whose shock waves pummel us with too many questions, questions that multiply too quickly and too painfully, often for years to follow. Those questions, and their possible answers, are the backbone of this plainspoken, kind, consoling book–woven together with the reflections of people who, like the author, have endured this particularly cruel and lonely kind of heartbreak. What survivors of suicide need most of all is a wise comrade, not a counselor. Eric Marcus is that very comrade.

— Julia Glass, National Book Award–winning author of I See You Everywhere, Three Junes, and The Widower’s Tale

Published by HarperOne,
an imprint of
HarperCollinsPublishers

To book Eric Marcus for a speaking engagement,
contact HarperCollins Speakers Bureau
(212) 207-7100
speakersbureau@harpercollins.com

Author Photographs

Eric Marcus (at left) and his brother, Lewis, with their father, Irwin Marcus, shortly before his suicide in December 1970.

Eric Marcus is the author of several books, including Is It A Choice?, Making Gay History, and Together Forever. He is also co-author of Breaking the Surface, the #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis. (Photo Credit: Dixie Sheridan.)

Introduction to Why Suicide? Questions & Answers About Suicide, Suicide Prevention, and Coping with the Suicide of Someone You Know

by Eric Marcus

I’m sorry that you have any reason to read this book.  But the sad fact is that almost everyone is touched at some point in life by suicide, whether it’s the suicide or attempted suicide of someone we know or our own passing self-destructive thoughts.

No matter what the circumstances, there are always questions for those of us who are affected by suicide.  When I was twelve, my father took his life.  His death was devastating, the circumstances painfully perplexing and embarrassing.  I was hurt, angry, guilt-ridden, and ashamed, and I didn’t know why.  I had so many questions, but there was no one who could provide the answers and perspective I desperately needed.  The adults in my life didn’t have the answers to give and, as I later learned, had few places in 1970 to find them even if they had looked.  And to be fair, most of them were devastated themselves and had little emotional energy or wherewithal to consider what was going on for a well-behaved and outwardly brave little boy who didn’t shed a tear at his father’s funeral.

Continue reading »

Additional Praise for Why Suicide?

It would have been such a comfort to have read this book after I lost my
husband Edgar to suicide.
— Joan Rivers

I opened this book and said, ‘Where was this when I needed it?!’
— Judy Collins

Eric Marcus has much to teach us whether or not we have experienced the trauma of suicide in our personal lives.  Educators in Pre-K through college, school administrators, guidance counselors, pediatricians, social workers, and mental health professionals will all find this book to be an invaluable resource in the practice of their profession.
— Mary P. Lefkarites, Ph.D, Associate Professor,
Hunter College of the City University of New York

Continue reading »

News, Reviews, Interviews, and Events

NEWS

Why Suicide? E-Book published on February 19, 2013!

Read about Eric’s National Suicide Prevention Week presentation at the University of South Dakota on living life in the aftermath of a loved one’s suicide.
Vermillion Plain Talk, September 16, 2011

“Dear Abby” recommends Why Suicide? in her September 7, 2011 column.

Suicide myths from Why Suicide? explored in tumblr.com post.

“Dear Abby” recommends Why Suicide? in her November 11, 2010 column.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has selected Why Suicide? for the organization’s Surviving Suicide Loss Bibliography.

REVIEWS

April 29, 2013, by Debra Stang, Alliance of Hope blog.

• October 5, 2011, in Chicago’s Windy City Times (bottom page 36):
Prolific gay author and activist Eric Marcus is one of our community’s most important writer-historians. All of his books provide insight into issues of importance to LGBT life and history. Why Suicide? is a re-issue that has been updated and revised, and it could not be more timely, given the continued depressing rate of LGBT suicides, among the young and older. Marcus’ father committed suicide, so this issue has been close to him most of his life. The book is a required read for anyone who cares about the why, how and getting beyond a suicide of a friend or family member. This is not about gay or straight, but of course it is informed by Marcus’ own gay lens.

• October 7, 2010Library Journal (only available to Library Journal members).

• Fall 2010 Edition of “Suicide Survivor,” a publication of the American Association of Suicidology (no link available).

• November 30, 2010, by Mervyn Kaufman, “The Good Men’s Project” magazine.

• March 19, 1996, by Leroy Aarons, The Advocate.

INTERVIEWS & VIDEOS

• RADIO:  Listen to Eric and AFSP’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Christine Moutier, discuss coping with the holidays in the aftermath of a suicide on NPR’s Tell Me More, December 23, 2013.

• VIDEO: See Eric moderate the 2012 International Survivors of Suicide Day panel discussion with six people who have lived through the suicide of a loved one.

• VIDEO: Watch hour-long AFSP Congressional staffer briefing on suicide moderated by Eric on November 15, 2011, at the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, DC.

• RADIO: Bobby DeMuro interviews Eric for his November 18, 2011, “7-Day Challenge“ show on the Radio Exiles network in advance of International Survivors of Suicide Day.

• RADIO: Listen to Eric interviewed about suicide and religion on NPR’s Interfaith Voices, March 9, 2011.  The interview begins 38 minutes, 45 seconds into the show, so once you click on “Play Show,” you’ll have to move the little time indicator rectangle to the right (along the time indicator line) until you get to 38 minutes and 45 seconds.  The interview lasts 13 minutes.

RADIO: Listen to Eric interviewed about Why Suicide? on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, February 9, 2011.

• PRINT: Therese Borchard, who writes the “Beyond Blue” blog at BeliefNet.com,
interviews Eric about Why Suicide? on PsychCentral.com.  Also published in
BeliefNet’s “Your Peace of Mind” newsletter.

EVENTS

None Scheduled

Suicide Issues & Stories in the News

• A Conversation Native People Need to Have
Indian Country Today Media Network, September 18, 2014

• Those Who Have Lost a Family Member to Suicide Aim to Help Others
Northwest Times (Indiana), September 7, 2014

• Suicide Complicates the Grieving Process for Those Left Behind
News Observer, September 1, 2014

• Brilliant Column on Suicide, the Role Depression Plays, and How Depression Can Be Treated
New York Times, August 16, 2014

• Robin Williams’ Death Opens Wounds for Those Affected by Suicide
I’m a quoted extensively in this piece about my own experience with my father’s suicide.
NBC News, August 15, 2014

• The Science Behind Suicide Contagion
New York Times, August 13, 2014

• Suicide Attempt Survivors Seek A Voice in Helping Others at Risk
NPR Blog, July 11, 2014

• Great Advice From Canadian Columnist “Ellie” re:
Talking to a Boyfriend About a Previous Suicide Attempt
The Toronto Star, July 6, 2014

• Can Collecting Data Help With Suicide Prevention?  That’s a No-Brainer
Unfortunately, it’s not being collected and Congress…  well, you know.
The Pulse, June 30, 2014

• My First Blog Post for AFSP:  
Saving LGBT Youth from Suicide Means Doing More Than Telling Them “It Gets Better”
AFSP Website, June 27, 2014

• Funding Approved for Suicide Safety Net on the Golden Gate Bridge
At last!  Congratulations to Eve R. Meyer at SFSP and all the other people who have worked to make this happen.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Jun 27, 2014

• New Study:  Gay Teen Suicide More Likely After Religious Counseling
This doesn’t seem in the least bit surprising given what most traditional religions still preach about homosexuality.
Gay Star News, June 26, 2014

• As a Patrolman on SF’s Golden Gate Bridge, Kevin Briggs Helped Bring  People Back From the Brink
Watch his TED talk in which he gives a powerful piece of advice to those with loved ones who might be thinking of taking their own lives.
TED Talks, June 13, 2014

• Medical Manners:   Is It Wrong To Reveal A Relative’s Suicide?
Columnist Steven Petrow responds with advice and thoughts from AFSP’s Dr. Christine Mouter and Eric Marcus.
Everyday Health, June 5, 2014

• Privacy Law Frustrates Parents Of Mentally Ill Adult Children
NPR, June 4, 2014

• Suicide Attempt Survivors Speak About Their Experiences:
Goal is to Reach Those at Risk
Boston Globe, April 29, 2014

• Suicide Prevention Sheds a Longstanding Taboo:
Talking About Suicide Attempts

New York Times, April 13, 2014

• A Mysterious Death That Doesn’t Sound So Mysterious to Me
Here’a an entire column in the NY Times about the suicide death of the author’s husband in which the word “suicide” never appears.  It’s an unintentionally revealing piece about how suicide’s stigma and shame compelled this one adult to “protect” her child from the truth and how that child, now an adult, felt compelled to search for answers about her father’s life and death.
New York Times, April 13, 2014

• An Online Generation Redefines Mourning
New York Times, March 21, 2014

• Suicide Experts Identify Six Key Questions to Guide Research in the Next Decade
Psychiatric News, March 20, 2014

• Crisis of Youth Suicide Among Native American Youth On Reservations Continues Unabated
Colorlines.com, March 10, 2014

• Increase in Suicidal Thoughts and Attempts Among Adolescents “Significantly Related” to Bullying
Reuters, March 10, 2014

• A NY Times Reporter Writes About His Mother’s Suicide In Series of Tweets
Very moving and to-the-point.  A must-read!
The Poynter Institute, February 12, 2014

• How Does Morality Affect Our View of Suicide?  
This Study Says It Contributes to Stigmatization.
Boston College Chronicle, January 30, 2014

• New Study Suggests Link Between Experiences of Discrimination
and Suicide Attempts Among Transgender People 
The Williams Institute, January 28, 2014

• Surge in Medicaid Signups Under Obamacare Leads to Vastly Improved Mental Health (and, perhaps, a reduction in suicide attempts and suicides?)
New York Times, January 21, 2014

• Review of 15 Studies Confirms What We Already Know:
GUNS IN THE HOME INCREASES SUICIDE RISK!
NBC News, January 20, 2014

• Rapper Professor Green Talks to BBC 1 About How He’s Been Affected by His Father’s Suicide
BBC Newsbest, January 20, 2014

• A Suicide Loss Survivor Discovers She’s Not Alone
A must-read NY Times Magazine essay by the author of Promised Land.
New York Times, January 19, 2014

• Study Launched in Australia into Causes of LGBT Suicide
Brisbane Times, January 18, 2014

• Suicide Review Team In Montana Will Review All Suicides In State
With Goal of Understanding Causes
The Montana Standard, January 17, 2014

• Canadian Psychiatrist Says Suicide Rate Can Be Reduced by 20%
by 2020 And He Explains How

Ottawa Citizen, January 16, 2014 

• A Proposal Worth Considering?  A Congressman Offers Ideas for Overhauling Mental-Health Care
Everyone agrees that the current system is a mess.  I’m no expert, but a lot of these recommendations seem like common sense.
Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2013

• Private Foundations Take on Challenge of Understanding Depression Through Collaborative Studies
It’s stunning how little we really know about depression, its causes, and effective treatments.  With reduced government funding for research, private foundations are picking up the ball by sponsoring collaborative research efforts.
New York Times, December 23, 2013

• Anxiety More likely Than Depression to Lead to Suicidal Ideation
Fascinating stuff in these new studies about the direct link between
anxiety and suicide.  Makes sense to me!
Decoded Science, December 23, 2013

• Study Explains Why Suicide Is Stigmatized
Unfortunately, I don’t understand this study!  Maybe you will!
News-Medical.net, December 20, 2013

• Wow!  This Is An Incredible Interview on John Hockenberry’s “The Takeaway” Radio Show re:   College Students and Suicide
This interview features a college student and the founders of the Jed Foundation, Donna and Phil Satow, who lost their son to suicide 15 years ago.
The Takeaway, December 20, 2013

• Young Suicide Attempters May Face Mental Health Issues Later in Life
Healio.com, December 17, 2013

• Compelling Evidence That More Guns At Home = More Suicide Deaths
Slate, December 12, 2013

• Ohio Coroner Says that Suicide Survivor Outreach Program Saves Lives
Springfield News-Sun, November 25, 2013

• A No Holds Barred Take-Down of the NFL Over Attitudes Towards Bullying, Mental Health, and Suicide
I shouldn’t be shocked, but I am.
Grantland, November 7, 2013

• We’re Failing Our Suicidal Veterans and It’s Worse Than We Think
A very brave former Marine writes about his experience trying to get help following a suicide attempt.  I shouldn’t have been shocked, but I was horrified by what I read.  We can do better.  A lot better.  But why aren’t we?
New York Times, November 5, 2013

• Must-Read Op-Ed About The Complicated Relationship Between Bullying and Suicide from the Program Director of the Trevor Project
The Advocate, November 4, 2013

• Brave Malaysian Musical Tackled Subject of Suicide
The Star Online, November 4, 2013

• Essayist David Sedaris Reflects on the Recent Suicide of His Sister
New Yorker, October 28, 2013

• Great Article for Journalists Covering Bullying and Suicide
The author of this piece cautions about linking bullying and suicide, because bullying does not cause suicide.  Lots of helpful links.
Poynter.org (Medill Graduate School of Journalism at Northwestern University) October 25, 2013

• Can Twitter Be a Suicide Prevention Tool?
Suicide talk on Twitter mirrors state suicide rates, so perhaps it can serve as an early warning system for those at risk.  Researchers think that’s a possibility.  I’m skeptical.
USA Today, October 10, 2013

• What We Know & What We Don’t About Why People Kill Themselves
This is an incredibly informative report, including compelling evidence as to why we need to do A LOT more about keeping guns out of the home (and at the very least, under lock and key).
Science Friday (on NPR), August 30, 2013

• Forcing the Severely Mentally Ill Into Treatment Works
With adequate funding NY State’s Kendra’s Law has been an unqualified success.
People who need treatment but resist and are compelled by court order to get treatment
do surprisingly well.  Sounds like effective suicide prevention to me!
NY Times, July 30, 2013

• Sharing Stories of Suicide Loss Helps Survivors Heal
ABQ Journal (New Mexico), July 29, 2013

• Should An Individual’s Suicide Be Covered As News?
The Kansas City Star’s public editor says that in general it shouldn’t.  I agree.  Do you?
Kansas City Star, July 11, 2013

• New BBC Documentary About Depression &
Suicide Among Soccer Players

BBC, July 9, 2013

• Matthew K. Knock, the “Suicide Detective”
Upends Our Assumptions About Suicide
One of the most influential suicide researchers in the world is developing methods
for assessing who is at the greatest risk.
NY Times, June 30, 2013

• A Buddhist Monk Confronts Japan’s Suicide Culture
Compelling profile of a Japanese monk who has dedicated his life to
counseling suicidal people using methods that are, to say the least,
unconventional, although seemingly effective.
The New Yorker, June 24, 2013

• Compelling 3-Part NPR Series on Suicide in the Military
Part 1: “After A Marine’s Suicide, A Family Recalls Missed Red Flags”
NPR, June 19, 2013
Part 2: “At A Texas Base, Battling Army’s Top Threat:  Suicide”
NPR, June 20, 2013
Part 3: “Seeking Mental Health Help Can Be Hard In Military Culture”
NPR, June 21, 2013

• New Study Attempts to Answer the “Why?” Question
This is the one question everyone asks in the wake of a suicide.  This study attempts to shed new light on why people kill themselves.
The Province, June 14, 2013

• A Father Writes of His Son’s Suicide
Compelling reading.
BBC News Magazine, June 11, 2013

• Attention Journalists!  Reporting Responsibly About Suicide
A journalist whose dad took his life writes about his own experience with the press.  His
piece includes a link to excellent guidelines.
New Statesman (UK), June 7, 2013

•A Father Writes About His Daughter’s Suicide in New Book
Washington Post, June 4, 2013

• Powerful Testimony on Why We Need to Talk About Suicide
A video worth watching from someone who has an important message worth listening to.
HuffingtonPost/TED Weekends, May 24, 2013

• A Provocative Theory As To Why People Kill Themselves
Broad overview, detailed analysis, and maybe some answers, too.  Still, the news is grim.
Newsweek and The Daily Beast, May 22, 2013

• Suicide Risk Assessments Called Into Doubt
One more example of how little we really know about suicide and suicide risk.
The Sydney Morning Herald, May 20, 2013

• New Study Documents Impact of Classmate’s Suicide on Teens
Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2013

• Is There A Link Between Increase in Loneliness and Increase in Suicide Rate?
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat thinks so.  Worth reading and thinking about.
New York Times, May 18, 2013

• My Letter in Response to “Baffling Rise in Suicides..”  (See Below)
New York Times, May 18, 2013

• Baffling Rise in Suicides Plagues the Military
New York Times, May 16, 2013

• Fiscal Austerity Policies Kill
Is anyone surprised that fiscal austerity has led to an increase in suicides in
countries that have imposed draconian budget cuts on the backs of working
people and the poor?  Something else for the “fiscal conservatives” to brag about!
New York Times, May 13, 2013

• Michel Martin, host of NPR’s “Tell Me More,” Talks About
Impact of Her Brother’s Suicide in Light of Suicide Rate Jump

This is a must-listen!
NPR, May 8, 2013

• Do Suicide Prevention Screening Tests Work?  Federal Panel Casts Doubts
Well, that’s depressing news, especially given the time, effort, and resources devoted to screening tests.
Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2013

• People Who Have Attempted Suicide Speak Out
Who better to learn from about suicide prevention than people who have tried to kill themselves?  AAS launches a website called “What Happens Now?” to engage survivors in a public forum.
Washington Post, April 13, 2013

• Suicide Risk Linked To Gun Ownership
Since we know this to be the case (this isn’t the first study to come up with these
results) why aren’t organizations like AFSP lobbying harder for stronger gun safety
measures (like requiring all guns to be locked up!).
UPI.com, April 5, 2013

• Department of Defense Reviews 900+ Suicide Prevention Programs to
See What Works and What Doesn’t
This is just the kind of research that the government should be doing since we know that suicide prevention hotlines don’t prevent suicide and looking for warning signs is for the most part useless as well.
Marine Corps Times, March 25, 2013

• Battling Suicide In a ‘Gun State’ Means Treading Carefully
Maybe it’s time to stop treading carefully and do something bold to counter gun
advocates who care more about the freedom to own guns than the terrible impact
of suicide deaths by gunfire.
NPR, March 24, 2013

• How a Patient’s Suicide Changed a Doctor’s Approach to Guns
NPR, March 20, 2013

•A Turning Point for Talking About Suicide and Guns In Wyoming
NPR, March 19, 2013

•Hoping to Understand Suicide Risk by Studying Suicide Notes
Cincinnati.com, March 15, 2013

• Telling the Truth About A Father’s Suicide
Newspaper reporter Laurie Loisel writes about how her family chose not to hide their father’s suicide and included his cause of death in his obituary.  Laurie’s family is a role model for how to deal with a loved one’s suicide without shame.
Daily Hampshire Gazette, March 8, 2013

•Curbing Suicide With Sensible Gun Regulations
Why are we so afraid of the gun lobby when we know that
sensible regulations will reduce suicides?
New York Times, March 8, 2013

• Jane Fonda Opens Up About Mother’s Suicide
Fox News, February 28, 2013

• As Families Change, Korea’s Elderly Turn to Suicide
New York Times, February 16, 2013

• Guns Make Suicide Too Easy!
Great NY Times editorial promoting gun safety as way to reduce suicide rate.
New York Times, February 15, 2013

•To Reduce Suicide Rates, New Focus Turns to Guns
Why aren’t we putting more energy and money into gun safety?
New York Times, February 14, 2013

• Help For Families Struggling with Mental Illness
Attorney Carolyn Reinach Wolf assists families in navigating the mental health
care system to get loved ones the help they need.
New York Times, February 8, 2013

• ADHD + Adderall = Suicide?
A close look at the problem of ADHD medical practices and
amphetamine addiction.  The article focuses on the case of one
young man who killed himself.
New York Times, February 2, 2013

• As Suicide Rate Rises in U.S. Veterans are Less of Total
This seems like a strange story to me, as if this is good news.  Seems
like bad news all around.
New York Times, February 1, 2013

•Impulsivity And Access To Means Drive Rising U.S. Suicide Rate
NPR, January 25, 2013

• Is Therapy Effective in Preventing Teen Suicide?
New study casts serious doubts.
New York Times, January 8, 2013

• A Challenge to Those Who Claim Guns at Home Make Us Safe
Here’s a compelling challenge to those who say, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” This columnist argues persuasively that people who keep guns in their homes are less safe because those guns are far more often used in suicide and murder than for protection.  It’s time to stand up to the NRA and say:  Control guns. Prevent suicide.
Chicago Tribune, January 4, 2013

• New Department of Defense Study Reveals How Much We Don’t
Know About Suicide

This new report suggests there is still a lot to be learned about suicide
and its causes.  And if we don’t know what leads people to take their lives,
how can we begin to prevent it?
Time.com, January 3, 2013

• Understanding Suicide in the Context of Murder-Suicide
Must-read column by Andrew Solomon offers insight into the recent
massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
New York Times, December 23, 2012

• Two New Studies on Impact of Suicide on Surviving Family Members
One of the studies looks specifically at children who lose a parent to suicide
early in life and their increased risk of dying by suicide.
Medscape News, December 11, 2012

•Brilliant New Graphic Memoir About Bipolar Disorder
Cartoonist Ellen Forney writes and draws about her experience of living
with and being treated for bipolar disorder.
NPR Morning Edition, November 26, 2012

• Could a Suicide Attempt Really Land You In Jail?
Hard to believe that this is true, but it is.  Read about a court challenge to
this antiquated and harmful law.
Los Angeles Times, November 24, 2012

• Families Share Stories of Healing in Aftermath of Suicide Loss
Grand Forks (North Dakota) Herald, November 18, 2012

• Review of Oddly Normal
NY Times journalist John Schwartz combines the story of his gay son’s suicide attempt and struggle to embrace his sexuality with a report about research on LGBT teens in a compelling new book.
NY Times, November 11, 2012

• Bullying & Abuse Linked to Suicidal Thoughts In Children & Teens
CNN.com, October 23, 2012

• Researchers Say Cyber-Bullying Rarely Sole Link to Suicide
Given that there were only 41 suicides studied you really have to wonder how any concrete conclusions can be drawn from such a small sample.
UPI.com, October 21, 2012

• Most Suicidal Teens Don’t Get Help
PsychCentral, October 15, 2012

• Military’s “Stand Down For Suicide” Day Is A Big Joke
I was sorry to read confirmation of what I feared.  More about
public relations than a real effort to prevent suicide.
Business Insider, October 2, 2012

• Gay “Cure” for Minors Banned in California. 49 States to Go!
Goal is to reduce depression and suicide.
New York Times, October 1, 2012

• Suicide Notes Leave As Many Questions
As Answers for Survivors
Detroit Free Press, September 9, 2012

• Suicide’s Collateral Damage; Time to Address the Emotional
Toll on Victims’ Survivors
Lexington Herald-Leader, August 27, 2012

• Tyler Clementi’s Mother Grapples With Blame In
Aftermath of Gay Son’s Suicide

New York Times, August 25, 2012

• A Psychiatrist Explains Why People Kill Themselves
An excellent overview that acknowledges why we’re still left asking “why?”
CNN Health, August 21, 2012

• U.S. Military Testing Anti-Suicide Nasal Spray
Too Good to Be True?
The Daily, August 20, 2012

• Native-American Youth Suicide Prevention Effort
In Wake Teen Suicide Epidemic, Apache Youth Journey to
Florida to Learn How Ancestors Were Brutalized
Tampa Bay Times, August 12, 2012

• Jacksonville, Florida, Youth Say Trusted Adults Can
Help When Thinking About Suicide

Florida Times-Union, August 8, 2012

• SF Synagogue Holds Public Yizkur Service on Anniversary of
First Suicide from the Golden Gate Bridge

The Jewish Daily Forward,  August 5, 2012

• Military Facing Epidemic of Suicide Says Def. Secretary Leon Panetta.
My question:  This is news?  But apparently it is.
BusinessWeek, July 25, 2012

• Is Eliminating Stigma and Increasing Peer & Community Support
the Answer for Reducing Military and Veteran Suicides?

Joseph Bobrow for the HuffingtonPost, July  16, 2012

• General’s Harsh Words About Soldier Suicides Provides
a “Teachable Moment”
Stars and Stripes, May 29, 2012

• Survivors of Military Suicides Come Together to Grieve,
Including “Good Grief Camp for Young Survivors”

U.S. News on MSNBC.com, May 26, 2012

• Widow of NFL Player Ray Easterling Continues Her Fight
Even After Her Husband’s Suicide

New York Times, May 3, 2012

• Iowans Reeling After String of Teen Suicides
IndyStar.com, April 28, 2012

• Social Media Fosters Healing After Suicide
Tucson Citizen, April 21, 2012

• Amid Europe’s Debt Crisis, A Sharp Rise in Suicides
NPR, April 21, 2012

• A Father Struggles with the Suicide of his Adult Daughter
Martinsville Bulletin (Virginia), April 16, 2012

NY Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof on Military Suicides and
How We’re Failing Our Veterans

New York Times, April 15, 2012

• A Mother Writes About Her Son’s Recent Suicide
and Her Mother’s Dementia
New York Times, April 10, 2012

• Stigma Leads Coroners in Ireland to Underreport Suicide
Irish Central, April 2, 2012

• Anti-Suicide Efforts Seem to Pay Off in Wisconsin County
Wausau Daily Herald, March 31, 2012

• A California High School Deals With Suicide Head On
The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, CA, March 31, 2012

• Dharun Ravi Wrongly Blame in Tyler Clementi Suicide
by Eric Marcus
NJ Star-Ledger,  March 29, 2012

• Dangerous Simplification of Link Between Bullying & Suicide
Review by @emilybazelon of new documentary
Slate, March 29, 2012

• Politics, Justice, & Suicide in the Clementi-Ravi Case
MetroWest Daily News, March 25, 2012

• Helping Heal the Pain Suicide Leaves Behind
Holding a Suicide Survivors Remembrance Ceremony
Albany Times Union, March 24 ,2012

• Interview with Dharun Ravi re:  Tyler Clementi Suicide
Star-Ledger, New Jersey, March 22, 2012

• New Book By Teen About Father’s Suicide
MetroWest Daily News, March 14, 2012

• Friends Who Lost Brothers to Suicide Bike Cross-Country
to Raise Awareness of Suicide & End Stigma

Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 1, 2012

• Strong Family Ties Cut Suicide Rate for Bullied Gay Youth
Chicago Tribune, February 14, 2012

• Looking for Reasons Behind Suicide:
A Sociologist Offers New Insight

Sociological Forum, Vol 27, Issue 1, February 6, 2012

• Shattering the Black Suicide Myth
Chicago Tribune, February 5, 2012

• A Very Close Look at Gay Teen Tyler Clementi’s Suicide
The New Yorker, February 6, 2012

• LGBT Teens:  Bullying & Suicide in One Minnesota School District
Rolling Stone, February 2, 2012

• New “Almost Immediate” Treatment for Suicidal Depression
Club drug, Ketamine, offers hope.
NPR News, January 30, 2012, Part 1
NPR News, January 31, 2012, Part 2

• A UK Mom Shares Her Story About Her Son’s Suicide
and its Aftermath
Cambridge News, January 23, 2012

• Military:  Suicide Among Active-Duty Soldiers at
Record High in 2011

New York Times, 1-19-2012

• Inspiring Story of Survival:  A Veteran Who Attempted Suicide
Now Counsels Other Veterans Dealing with Substance Abuse

New York Times, 1-18-2012

• New Young Adult Novel About Suicide:
Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer Hubbard

LA Times, January 15, 2012

• Facebook Joins Suicide Prevention Effort
TIME, December 13, 2011

NY Times “Social Q’s” Columnist Philip Galanes Discusses
His Father’s Suicide in Terrific NPR “Fresh Air” Interview

NPR, “Fresh Air,” December 5, 2011

• Celebrated Poet Who Wrote Powerfully About Her
Husband’s Suicide Dies at 96
(obit link includes sample poems)
New York Times, November 24, 2011

• How Can We Prevent Military Suicides?
New York Times, “Room for Debate,” November 20, 2011

• Army Still Grappling with Soldier Suicides
CNN, November 18, 2011

• Facing Thanksgiving After a Son’s Suicide
Toms River Patch, November 14, 2011

• Veterans Give Video Testimonials On How Reaching
Out Helped Them With Mental Health Issues

Make the Connection/Veterans Stories & Support

NY Times “Social Q’s” Columnist Writes About
Impact of His Father’s Suicide

New York Times, November 6, 2011

• New Report on Military and Veteran Suicides and How to Reduce Them
Center for a New American Security, October 31, 2011

• Caution Re:  Talking About LGBT Youth Suicides and Bullying
A terrific op-ed from the director of the Trevor Project about how
the ways we talk about this issue can unintentionally spread the problem.
The Advocate, October 20, 2011

• New Study Shows That Fear Prevents Us From Helping Suicidal Loved Ones
The Atlantic, October 19, 2011

• An Erev Yom Kippur Suicide; A Daughter Seeks Forgiveness
New York Times Opinionator, October 5 2011

• Successful Anti-Suicide Program for
Minnesota Military Running Out of Money

Minneapolis Star Tribune, October 2, 2011

• Recession Causes Silent Epidemic of Depression
The Fiscal Times, October 2, 2011

• The Danger of Glamorizing a Teen’s Suicide
USA Today, September 29, 2011

• Jane Fonda’s Biographer Patricia Bosworth Writes Movingly on
Their Shared Experience as Suicide Survivors
New York Times, September 25, 2011

• Minnesota Suburb Confronts Gay Bullying
New York Times, September 13, 2011

• Eight Student Suicides in Minnesota School District
(also see gay bullying article above)

New York Times, September 13, 2011

• 9/11 World Trade Center Jumpers:  Was It Suicide?  Does It Matter?
(Please be aware that this article is graphic and very upsetting—or at least it was to me)
Daily Nation (Kenya), September 12, 2011

• U.S. Rep. Judy Chu’s Testimony at House Armed Services Committee Hearing (Re: Her Marine Nephew’s Suicide) Touches Military Leaders
Huffington Post, September 9, 2011

• Refusing Nourishment at End of Life: Suicide or Rational Choice or Both?
New York Times, August 30, 2011

• One In 10 Suicides Linked to Chronic Illness
The Guardian, August 23, 2011

• Department of Veteran Affairs in Court Battle Over Failure
to Care For Veterans with Mental Health Problems

New York Times Editorial, August 21, 2011

• A Father Kills Himself to Save Son from Deportation
New York Times, August 20, 2011

• Do We Need to Speak More Openly About Suicide?
The Sydney Morning Herald, August 13, 2011

• New Details in Tyler Clementi Suicide Reveal More Complex Picture
New York Times, August 12, 2011

• Grief After Suicide:  An Interview with Dr. Jack Jordan
PsychCentral.com, July 2011

• Men Grieve Differently; Widowers At Higher Risk of Suicide Thank Widows
New York Times, July 25, 2011

• President to Send Condolence Letters After Suicides in Combat Zones
PBS NewsHour, July 7, 2011 (Video)
New York Times, July 7, 2011

• The Suicide Paradox (Radio Documentary)
Great overview of suicide from a unique perspective.
Freakonomics Radio, June 22, 2011

• Expert on mental illness who treats the seriously suicidal reveals her own fight with mental illness and suicide
New York Times, June 23, 2011

• British Actor Stephen Fry Discusses His Bipolar Disorder
and Ongoing Thoughts of Suicide

Digital Spy, June 2, 2011

• Elite South Korean University Rattled by Suicides
New York Times, May 23, 2011

• Families of Colorado Suicides Stand Together to Find Hope
Denver Post, May 22, 2011

• University of South Dakota Group Spreading Suicide Awareness
Yankton Press & Dakotan, May  19, 2011

• Better Mental Health Care for Veterans Called for
in the Wake of Court Decision

A federal circuit court finds government incompetence is leading to thousands of suicides.
New York Times Editorial, May 19, 2011

• Sirdeaner Walker, mother of 11-year-old bullied son who took his life,
honored by AFSP at 2011 Lifesavers dinner in NYC

Video news story from ABC40 in Springfield, MA, May 11, 2011

• New Guidelines for Talking about Suicide and Gay/LGBT People
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, May 5, 2011

• Gay/LGBT Youth Suicide Reports Show Need for More Studies
Windy City Times, April 27, 2011

• Gay and Straight Teens More Likely to Attempt Suicide in Politically Conservative Communities
Associated Press (via Yahoo News), April 18, 2011

• Study Ties Suicide Rate in Work Force to Economy
New York Times, April 15, 2011

• Allergies Can Increase the Risk of Depression
Perhaps an explanation for the increasing suicide rate in spring?
New York Times, April 11, 2011

• Suicide of a Football Player and a Puzzling Last Request
New York Times, February 22, 2011

• Number of Troops Lost to Suicide Undercounted
Congress.org, January 24, 2011

• Gay Teen Suicide Risk:  NY Times columnist Jane Brody takes a closer look at what we know and what we don’t.  New York Times, January 3, 2011

• Bernard Madoff’s Son Kills Himself:  On the second anniversary of his father’s arrest–and a week after being named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by the trustee seeking assets for victims of the scheme–Mark Madoff hanged himself at home, while his 2-year-old son was asleep in an adjoining bedroom.   New York Times, December 11, 2010

• Female Vets Especially Vulnerable to Suicide
NPR, Weekend Edition Saturday, December 4, 2010

• Alarming Increase in Civilian Soldier Suicides:  National Guard soldiers who are not on active duty killed themselves this year at nearly twice the rate of 2009.
USA Today, Friday, November 26, 2010

• Dear Abby Advises on “Getting Over” a Loved One’s Suicide
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Thursday, November 11, 2010

• Preventing Military Suicides:  NPR’s Scott Simon talks with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Deborah, about the increased efforts to curb suicides by military servicemen and women.
NPR Weekend Edition, Saturday, November 6, 2010

• “It Gets Better” Videos: These two videos moved me to tears and one can only hope that they give hope to teens who feel hopeless.
Young Broadway stars sing for the Trevor Project
The Broadway company of “Chicago” talk about how it gets better

• Military Suicides:  In light of record military suicides and high death rates among returning soldiers from a variety of causes, columnist Bob Herbert urges better mental health care for U.S. soldiers.
New York Times, October 23, 2010

• Survivors of Military Suicides:  National Public Radio story on the efforts being made by TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) to support family members left behind in the aftermath of a soldier’s sucide.
NPR, October 21, 2010

• President Obama “It Gets Better” Video:  President Obama addresses bullying and suicide and urges young people who feel isolated to reach out to adults for help.  Very compelling and just the right tone.
From the White House, October 21, 2010

• It Gets Better—Surviving Suicide:  Here’s an essay I wrote for Chicago’s LGBT newspaper, which is running a series of essays in response to the recent suicides of several young gay people who have been bullied.  Click here for my essay, which  focuses on the survivor experience.  Click here for links to all of the essays in the article.
Windy City Times, October 13, 2010

• Despite Army Efforts, Soldier Suicides Continue:  For a variety of reasons, efforts to reduce military suicides fail to affect the rate of suicide among soldiers.
New York Times, October 10, 2010

• Survivor Profile—Coping With An Unfinished Life:  Karen Green, widow of writer David Foster Wallace, uses her art to work through the experience of losing her husband to suicide.
New York Times, October 8, 2010

• Music Student Takes Life After Exposure on Internet:  Tyler Clementi, 18, jumped from NYC’s George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly broadcast Tyler’s intimate encounter with another young man.
New York Times, September 29, 2010
New York Daily News, September 29, 2010

• Preventing Military Suicides: Congressman Rush Holt urges passage of legislation, named for Coleman Bean, the late son of Greg and Linda Bean, that provides for a national program to reach at-risk National Guard and Reserve members of the military. 
New York Times, Letters to the Editor, September 27, 2010

• Military Suicides: NY Times editorial urges more be done to care for troubled soldiers after they return home.
New York Times, Editorial, September 21, 2010

• Golden Gate Bridge:  San Francisco Supervisor Sponsors “Please Don’t Jump Day”
San Francisco Examiner, September 15, 2010

• Suicide and Brain Injury—Possible Link? College football player’s suicide death raises question.
New York Times, September 14, 2010

• Anti-Suicide Campaign Backed by Gay Rugby Referee:  Nigel Owens helps launch Samaritans Men on the Ropes campaign.
BBC News, September 8, 2010

• Suicide in Middle Age:  An essay by Dan Fields, former editor in chief of Dr. Andrew Weil’s Self-Healing newsletter.
The Good Men Magazine, August 15, 2010

• New York Public Library Develops Policy on Callers Who Threaten Suicide
American Libraries, August 12, 2010

• Family History of Mental Illness:  Lisa Belkin visits with a Carnegie relative who has written a compelling book about her family’s legacy of pain.
New York Times, August 11, 2010

• The Suicide of a Friend:  Andrew Solomon writes an incredibly moving essay about the death of a college classmate.
Yale Alumni Magazine, July/August 2010

Veterans:  Veterans turn to suicide hot line for help.  This article and video moved me to tears.
New York Times, July 31, 2010

Military Suicides:  Pentagon report places blame for high suicide rate.
New York Times, July 30, 2010

Golden Gate Bridge:  Funding approved for design of suicide barrier.
New York Times, July 29, 2010

Funding for Military Mental Health Care:   New York Times editorial in favor of legislation to provide funding for mental health care for all Army reservists in light of skyrocketing suicides and suicide attempts.  (Seems like a no-brainer, but clearly someone with no brain–or heart–thinks we shouldn’t be spending the money.)
New York Times, July 23, 2010

Military Suicides:  Army reports record number of suicides for the month of June.
USA Today, July 15, 2010

• Impulsive Suicide:  A Cautionary Tale from the Aunt of Teddy Graubard
HuffPost Healthy Living, June 11, 2010

• Feature Story on the Suicide of Dalton High School Student Teddy Graubard
New York Magazine,  May 30, 2010

•  A Brother’s Suicide:  ”Can I Just Tell You” Radio Commentary by Michel Martin.
NPR, “Maybe Someday Love Will Cure Despair,” May 24, 2010

Military Suicides & Presidential Condolence Letters:  My letter to the editor of the New York Times.
New York Times, December 9, 2009

• Animal Suicide:  A scientific debate.
Time magazine, March 19, 2010

• A Daughter Writes of Her Mother’s Suicide and Her Daughter’s Birth
“Modern Love,” New York Times, January 29, 2006