Sociological Ruminations

A blog about books (both non-fiction and fiction) that address forms of social inequality associated with race, gender, class, or mental health.

A Reading List from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention posted a reading list on their Facebook page today.  It’s called Books for Survivors.  Here are some of the books:

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness. Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., Alfred A. Knopf, 1995.

In this memoir, an international authority on bipolar disorder describes her own struggle since adolescence with the disorder, and how it has shaped her life.

Demystifying Psychiatry: A Resource for Patients and Families. Charles Zorumski and Eugene Rubin, Oxford University Press, 2010.

Two psychiatrists explain modern day psychiatry, including the mental illnesses most closely associated with suicide risk, in this straightforward primer intended for a lay audience.

Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide. Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.

Weaving together an in-depth psychological and scientific exploration of the subject, this book traces the network of reasons underlying suicide, including the factors that interact to cause suicide, and the evolving treatments available through modern medicine. Includes a particular focus on suicide by adolescents and young adults.

Remembering Garrett: One Family’s Battle with a Child’s Depression. United States Senator Gordon H. Smith, Caroll & Graf, 2006.

A personal account by the U.S. Senator from Oregon, whose 21-year-old son took his own life, and whose speech on the Senate floor led to overwhelming bipartisan support for the passage of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which increased federal funding to prevent youth suicide.

From the Ashes Flies the Phoenix: Creating a Powerful Life After a Suicide. Gretta Krane, Inspiring Enterprises, 2006.

The survivor of her husband’s suicide, Krane shares her journey with the hope that it will inspire others to find self-discovery, growth, and hope in the aftermath of suicide loss.

Take the Dimness of My Soul Away: Healing After a Loved One’s Suicide. William A. Ritter, Morehouse Publishing, 2004.

Reverend Ritter shares a moving collection of  his sermons and notes following his son’s death by suicide. Throughout this God-centered journey, Ritter’s poignant words explore how spiritual healing is possible after the loss of a loved one to suicide.

Men Don’t Cry…Women Do: Transcending Gender Stereotypes of Grief. Terry L. Martin & Kenneth J. Doka, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group 2000.

Part of Robert Neimeyer’s Death, Dying, and Bereavement Series, this book is best suited for mental health professionals and others interested in exploring the theoretical and clinical aspects of gender-typical grief. While not specific to suicide loss, the book addresses the impact of socialization and culture on how individuals experience loss.

When Suicide Comes Home: A Father’s Diary and Comments. Paul Cox, Bolton Press 2002.

A father’s perspective on the first year following his son’s suicide, this book is written in a simple, straightforward style, making it easy reading for early grief. Though written from a father’s perspective, female readers (especially spouses) have said that the book helped them to better understand the male experience of grief.

Grief After Suicide: Understanding the Consequences and Caring for the Survivors. John R. Jordan, Ph.D. and John McIntosh, Ph.D., editors, Routledge, 2011.

Combining research literature, clinical theory, and extensive practical experience working with survivors of suicide loss, two of the field’s leading experts offer a comprehensive, professionally-oriented exploration of bereavement after suicide. Topics include interventions to provide bereavement care for survivors and the development of research, clinical, and programmatic agendas for future efforts. Available

November of the Soul: The Enigma of Suicide. George Howe Colt, Scribner 2006.

From National Book Award Finalist George Howe Colt comes this comprehensive, 500+ page scholarly exploration of suicide. Based on in-depth reporting and case studies, and extensively footnoted, the book considers suicide from cultural, historical, biological, and psychological perspectives. (This book is recommended for survivors who are further along in their grief. Newly-bereaved survivors may find it overwhelming.)

Click here to read the entire list of books.


2 comments on “A Reading List from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

  1. JunkChuck
    September 1, 2014

    I’ve had a difficult time figuring out my feelings after the Robin Williams suicide–the usual contradictions apply: misplaced anger, the swinging gate of sympathy/lack of, even a little derision. I’ll need to get to the library and see if I can find something illuminating from that list.

  2. Christine
    September 1, 2014

    One of the books that I really want to read is Cracked Not Broken by Kevin Hines. It’s not on this list, but the author is one of 30 or so people who has ever survived a jump off from the Golden Gate Bridge.

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This entry was posted on August 25, 2014 by in books, non-fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .
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