Suicide

Reaction to the President of the American Association of Suicidology’s Letter of Resignation

Reaction to the President of the American Association of Suicidology’s Letter of Resignation

On August 30, 2021, Jonathan Singer, PhD, LCSW, announced his resignation from the presidency of the American Association of Suicidology. At his request, I posted his resignation letter here in order to make the letter accessible to as many people as possible. On Sept. 14, he asked me to remove the letter, and I did. […]

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To Whom It May Concern: The American Association of Suicidology

To Whom It May Concern: The American Association of Suicidology

  Update 8/18/21: AAS posted a response today to the letter below. You can find their response here.  The American Association of Suicidology has been through a lot of turmoil. Earlier this summer, the national non-profit fired its executive director and didn’t tell any of its members until somebody else posted about it on Twitter […]

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Do You Wish You Could Go to Sleep and Never Wake Up?

Do You Wish You Could Go to Sleep and Never Wake Up?

“If only I could go to sleep forever.” “I want to die.” “I wish I’d never been born.” Do you ever have thoughts like these, and you do not want to kill yourself? Many people do. They want their life to end, but they don’t want to end their life. If you’re one of those […]

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Let’s (Really) Talk about Suicide

Let’s (Really) Talk about Suicide

In a week when two celebrities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, died by suicide within days of each other, so did hundreds of other people in the U.S. One of them was named Flinn, a classmate of mine in high school. On Flinn’s public Facebook page, an outpouring of sympathetic posts, one after the other, […]

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In Defense of Suicide Prevention

In Defense of Suicide Prevention

Many people take offense at my stance on suicide prevention. They send me angry emails or texts. They post challenging comments on this site. Some people are so passionate about the right to die by suicide that they resort to harassment. I have received threatening missives and calls from numerous people, some of whom advise me […]

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When Suicidal Thoughts Do Not Go Away

When Suicidal Thoughts Do Not Go Away

The popular image of someone who is in danger of suicide goes like this: A person has suicidal thoughts. It’s a crisis. The person gets help, and the crisis resolves within days or weeks. That’s the popular image, and thankfully it does happen for many people. But for others, suicidal thoughts do not go away. […]

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Language Matters: Committed Suicide vs. Completed Suicide vs. Died by Suicide

Language Matters: Committed Suicide vs. Completed Suicide vs. Died by Suicide

Written by on September 21, 2017 in All Posts, Misc, Suicide, Terminology with 126 Comments

People in the suicide prevention field discourage the use of the term “committed suicide.” The verb “commit” (when followed by an act) is generally reserved for actions that many people view as sinful or immoral. Someone commits burglary, or murder, or rape, or perjury, or adultery, or crime – or something else bad. Suicide itself […]

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How to Navigate Confidentiality and Contact with Family After a Client’s Suicide

How to Navigate Confidentiality and Contact with Family After a Client’s Suicide

The ethical and legal obligations of confidentiality remain after a psychotherapist’s client dies, but how much? There is a lot of confusion around this. Here, I address what therapists can say or do with the client’s family while honoring the client’s confidentiality. First, be warned: I am not a lawyer, so my opinions represent a […]

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“What Stops You from Killing Yourself?”

“What Stops You from Killing Yourself?”

I advise my students to ask their suicidal clients, “What stops you? What stops you from killing yourself?” Some are horrified. They see this almost as a dare, as if they are saying to a hurting, suicidal person, If you really wanted to kill yourself, you would have done it already. What stops you? To […]

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Speaking of Suicide … Within Limits

Speaking of Suicide … Within Limits

I don’t want to encourage people to kill themselves. I also don’t want to give advice on ways to die by suicide, or to advertise the supposed virtues of suicide. Can you blame me? Some people do blame me. Hundreds of people have submitted to this website comments that could be construed as pro-suicide. And […]

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