Speak of Suicide with Thousands of Readers

Written by on December 1, 2021 in All Posts with 13 Comments
A hand holds out a musty book with GUESTS printed in gold lettering on the front

Photo by Erik McLean on Unsplash

Do you have a story you’d like to share about your experiences with suicidal thoughts, a suicide attempt, suicide loss — or about helping someone who’s had those experiences? My website Speaking of Suicide is now accepting guest posts.

Personal Stories

Your personal stories could address experiences with:

  • Coping with suicidal thoughts
  • Surviving a suicide attempt
  • Losing a loved one to suicide
  • Being in a relationship (romantic, parenting, or otherwise) with someone with suicidal thoughts
  • Working as a therapist, hotline counselor, or other helper for people with suicidal thoughts
  • Other stories you’ve lived that it could help others – and you – to share. (In keeping with the site’s focus, your story should be related to suicide or suicidality in some way.)

Opinion Pieces

If you want to write an essay about your views related to suicide and its prevention, possible topics could include:

  • Ways to help other people not only stay alive, but want to stay alive
  • The pros and cons of suicide prevention efforts today (including involuntary hospitalization, therapists’ duty to protect, and more)
  • The power of pets to help prevent suicide. Especially cats. (Just sayin’.)
  • OK, dogs, too.
  • Really, just about anything goes, as long as you abide by the Comments Policy. Which reminds me…

Speak of Suicide…within Limits

As I explained in a previous post, there are limits to what I’ll publish on this site. Before you submit something, whether a possible guest post or comment after others’ posts, please review the Comments Policy. You’ll also want to look at the site’s policy on guest articles.

In particular, note that I won’t publish a post that contains or serves as advertising, directly or indirectly, for a commercial venture or company. It probably won’t surprise you to know that I also will turn down anything that encourages or gives instructions on suicide.

Oh, please just read the Comments Policy. There’s lots more I won’t publish, too.

Why Publish on Speaking of Suicide’s site?

Right now the site gets about 25,000-30,000 views a month. (Google changed its algorithm a while back, which seems to have affected traffic; there was a time when 100,000 people a month visited.)

If your guest post is published, I’ll share it on my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I’ll share its Google Analytics data with you, so you can see how many people it’s reaching. You’re welcome, too, to respond to comments that people leave.

Why am I Accepting Guest Posts?

There’s so much to say and write about suicide, and I’m just one person with a to-do list longer than a cat’s tail – and that’s just for this afternoon. Right now, I’m writing a book (well, several, but one is due Jan. 1), working as an associate professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, and maintaining a small psychotherapy and consulting practice. I also need time to do other things. Like, you know, sleep. And pet cats.

But still, there’s so much that needs to be said and read about suicide. This site has become a fairly large platform, and I’m happy to share it with others who are passionate about helping people touched by suicide in any way.

The Site’s First Guest Post, by Shannon Parkin

The site’s first guest post is Finding Hope After 30 Years of Depression and a Suicide Attempt, by Shannon Parkin. Even though I’ve read Shannon’s account several times already, I still shiver a little when I think about all she’s gone through, all she’s learned, and all she wants to share with others. I think her story will move you, too.

One More Thing

This new experiment with guest posts marks a convergence of my past and present selves. Many years ago, I was a journalist. While in college, I worked in various editing positions at The Daily Texan, the student newspaper for the University of Texas.

I always enjoyed editing, and I’m happy to get that hat out of my basement, dust it off, and put it on again. Even if it does make my hair kinda look funny whenever I wear a hat.

So, if you’re interested, send a query or a piece of your writing to me at speakingofsuicide@gmail.com, and we’ll take it from there. Thanks, all.

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  1. Suze says:

    I have had suicidal ideations since age five. I am now 71. Having been a nurse prior to retirement, I have developed even further a desire to end my life. Even as a beautiful young woman during the 60s, I have never been able to put together why we are here on this earth. What the fuck is our purpose? Even though some of us have pHds, some MDs, some PAs, on and on, it does not make sense to me. Illuminate me!!!!

  2. Hi Stacey, I’d be interested in submitting a post for the site, if you’re willing to accept submissions from people who aren’t explicitly anti-suicide. I have a blog of my own which focuses largely but not exclusively on suicide, on which you can sample the writing to see if it would be of a serviceable enough standard to merit inclusion here: schopenhaueronmars.com (I’d be most interested in your feedback, as I have more content in the pipeline and have been following your work here for years). I have numerous ideas for posts, but one which may be of interest here would be an exploration of why the prevailing paradigm of “mental illness” stigmatises people and deters them from seeking help by replacing one stigma (you’re selfish for wanting to die) with an arguably more insidious medicalised approach which infantilises the suicidal person (if you want to commit suicide, you’re weak and are an unreliable witness to your own thoughts who must be protected like we would protect a child), whilst society turns a blind eye to the structural causes of suicidal ideation (things like lack of close social bonds, meaningful employment, etc). I would then want to draw parallels between this new medicalised approach to suicide and the medicalisation for things like homosexuality up until the 1970s and women who defied gender roles in the 19th century. I think that I could make it acceptable to the site (i.e. not endorsing suicide, but rather just discussing factors which cause people to feel more alienated and less trusting with regards to reaching out for help) without explicitly discouraging suicide either (as doing so would violate my own principles).

    Just wanted to let you know that, although I disagree with your stance that suicide must be prevented, I respect the fact that you have opened up the floor for debate in your comment sections. Which is something that I aim to do, except for the fact that I scarcely receive any comments!

    I understand if you don’t think that my aims would be compatible with the mission statement of your site, but I look forward to hearing back from you.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “existentialgoof,”

      I appreciate that you’re sensitive to my needs to keep the site consistent with a suicide prevention message. The questions you raise are very important — and very relevant to prevention (and its effectiveness, or not, I’ll add). It doesn’t sound like you’d be taking a pro- or anti- stance about suicide, per se, but about how suicide is conceptualized and labeled.

      And about my allowing debate in the comments — thank you for your supportive words, despite your disagreement. 😉 I do hold back quite a few comments, which I hate to do (former journalist here) but they’re so stridently pro-suicide that they go against the purpose of my site, which is to try to help someone stay alive, not die! But you probably know that already, anyway, since I’ve written about that. My site apparently gets some people very riled up, which puzzles me because I don’t see my words as being especially militant, but I guess it’s like religion and abortion — people get passionate about different sides.

      Anyway, I’ve emailed you a response, too, but wanted to post the reply here, too, so people don’t think I’ve ignored you. 🙂 Happy to be having this conversation with you.

  3. Kerri Jackson says:

    What a wonderful idea. Am I allowed to repost your posts?
    I have a blog called “Stopping Suicide” on WordPress.

    I’ve slowed down a lot on the blog as I am trying to finish my PhD on peer support specialists in suicide prevention.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Kerri,

      Thanks for asking! You’re welcome to share the first paragraph or two and then link to the full post. If you repost my site’s articles entirely, Google penalizes both of us for having duplicated content.

      I’ll have to check out your site soon. Thanks for letting me know about it. 🙂

  4. Space Ant says:

    How about posting some stories of people who accompanied their loved one to an assisted suicide (in Switzerland or otherwise)?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Space Ant,

      Thanks for sharing your idea. This is a topic I definitely want to write about when some time opens up. It’s so important. I’m very concerned about “suicide tourism,” as well as the collateral effects it can have on suicide prevention. I suspect that’s not the angle you want me to take, but this is a site dedicated to helping people stay alive (and to helping people have good reasons to stay alive, too).

      • Space Ant says:

        The title of your blog is “Speaking of suicide”, yet your project of guest posts is restricted to those people who want to speak against suicide (or in favor of life). I realize that “Speaking of suicide in the interest of preventing it” is a long and cumbersome title, but that doesn’t make the current title any less misleading.

        • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

          Space Ant,

          Thanks for your input. If you read various posts and comments on my site, you’ll see that I entertain many points of view, including those of people who think suicide shouldn’t be prevented. In particular, you might want to look at the many, many dissenting responses to my post Why Prevent Suicide? Here Are My Reasons.

          I used to be a journalist, and the principles of freedom of speech and entertaining multiple points of view remain strong for me. But, as someone who’s passionate about helping others to resist suicidal urges, I have my limits. While I think the pros and cons of suicide prevention efforts are worthy of rich, diverse discussions, I will not publish material that is explicitly pro-suicide. I explain this more in my post Speaking of Suicide… Within Limits.

          I encourage you to create your own blog at Blogger, WordPress.com or some other platform so you can post whatever you want, just as I can, on mine.

        • Space Ant says:

          Fair enough.

          I apologize for my previous reply; it was a rather petty complaint on my part.

        • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

          Space Ant, thanks, I appreciate that, and I also understand your frustration!

  5. Keven says:

    The inability to maintain a romantic relationship makes you feel worthless and unloved. Somehow you realize you don’t fit, don’t matter, and all your desires simply exist to torture you.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Keven,

      What tormenting feelings! I’m sorry you’re going through this kind of emotional torture. I know my saying this won’t make you believe it, but I do hope on some level you recognize that being single isn’t a sign of worthiness or lovability. Many horrible people have romantic partners, and many wonderful people don’t. It seems to be more about compatibility than anything else. I hope your thoughts and feelings are kinder to you soon.

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