GSSW Blogs

In Defense of Suicide Prevention

Many people take offense at my stance on suicide prevention. They send me angry emails. They post challenging comments on this site. A common argument is that people should be free to die by suicide without intervention by others, no matter what: “For some people there is little to be ...

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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 ...

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10 Things to Say to a Suicidal Person

Many people desperately want to know what to say – and what not to say – to someone who is thinking of suicide. The article 10 Things Not to Say to a Suicidal Person is SpeakingOfSuicide.com’s most popular post. Almost a half-million people have viewed it in the last 2½ ...

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

People in the suicide prevention field discourage the use of the term “committed suicide.” The word “committed” (when followed by a noun instead of “to”) is generally reserved for crimes or acts that many people view as immoral. Someone commits burglary, or murder, or rape, or perjury, or adultery – ...

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Final Thoughts

In my experience on any type of service trip or short term trip where you are dropped into a country for a short (but extended) period of time, I often catch myself saying things like “I’ll remember this forever” or feeling like I want to make a life change after ...

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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, ...

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The End’s Not Near, It’s Here… Final Thoughts on Bosnia

This time last year, I did not believe that I would be spending my summer interning in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  When I decided to apply for this program, this choice was met with head tilts, questions as to ‘why would you want to do that? Is it even safe?’, and ...

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All roads lead me to you

I have responded to all of my (important) emails, doctors appointments have been scheduled, syllabi printed, meetings set up, and my new apartment has been moved into. Giving myself time to think about Bosnia hasn’t been a priority, though I know it should be. When I think about it though, ...

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The Transition

My phone blew up (figuratively) the moment I landed in Chicago on the afternoon of Friday, August 18th.  “Are you coming to work tomorrow?”  I responded as calmly as I could; explaining that I wasn’t coming in until Monday.  However, there was the part of me that felt like texting ...

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Being back stateside

I have been back stateside for almost three weeks now and I still don’t know how to explain Bosnia and my experience to people who ask. For my friends who are interested and study genocide, peacebuilding, and development it is easy but for other friends and family, not so much. ...

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