A Breakthrough for Suicide (Attempt) Survivors at the AAS

David Webb
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Hi all – I was hoping to have done my second post by now but a deadline for a book chapter has taken over my life. Apologies.

This post is an announcement of a major breakthrough in Suicidology … IMHO. I’ve just learned that the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) has created a blog for suicide attempt survivors:

Suicide Attempt Survivors Blog

This is the first time anywhere in the world that a mainstream suicide prevention organisation has made a serious, meaningful attempt to hear from suicide (attempt) survivors. And I confess that I thought the AAS were the last people to take this initiative.

This has come about largely due to the energy and passion of Cara Anna, an attempt survivor, journalist and now the editor of this AAS blog. A bit over a year ago, she created a blog for interviews with survivors, which I was going to mention in my next blog as one of the few forums for the survivor voice. She now has 35+ interviews on her blog, which represents a precious library that is well worth a visit:

Talking About Suicide

Copied below is Cara’s recent announcement about the blog where she asks a rather provocative, intriguing question. Not sure if/how I might respond to her question but I expect to submit something to the blog at some time. And I encourage any Mad in America survivors to also consider participating. It’s a rare opportunity and the success and impact of the blog will depend on receiving lots of contributions.

It’s a pity they refer to ‘suicide attempt survivors’, which sets up an unfortunate and unhelpful pecking order among survivors. Those of you who know about suicidal feelings but have not made an attempt should ignore this exclusive hierarchy … IMHO. It’s also a pity that they don’t appear to allow online comments to posts – maybe we could lobby them to open up the blog to more dialogue.

After 10+ years working in this field, and in particular calling for greater recognition of the survivor voice, this blog from AAS represents for me the most significant development in Suicidology that I’ve witnessed. The AAS is very influential globally so if we can make a success of this blog, it is likely that other organisations around the world might follow.

For me, this is a real game-changer … oh dear, I may have to revise that book chapter …

Cheers – David

Hi! The new AAS attempt survivors blog has been updated today, and we hope you’ll read it and share it widely. By that, we mean beyond the mental health or research worlds and fully into the mainstream conversation, as busy with cat videos and Super Bowl speculation as it may be. No other organization has a blog that targets attempt survivors, and we need to be easily found. If you’re with an organization, please pop the link into your resources list online.

Also, starting today, we’ll be coming to you from time to time for guidance, resources and flat-out opinions as we explore different topics. Sometimes we’ll quote some of your answers in the blog, but you can choose whether you’d like your name or other identifying information to be used. We hope this will encourage frank comments.

The first question for you is simple: What scares you about suicide attempt survivors, and what do you find the most challenging or frustrating? Put in a different way, what would you like most to change or understand?

Thoughtful and honest, open answers will be much appreciated.

Thank you,

Cara Anna
Editor and attempt survivor
http://www.suicidology.org/aas-blog (updated every Monday)

1 COMMENT

  1. Hello, I am wanting to make contact with anyone who has
    survived a serious suicide (attempt)-Excluding being related to major mental illness. My interest is in how this has changed their lives in the spiritual realm with either a closer a connection to the life of their heart, insights into parallel universes, or other phenomena such as visions guiding their life or work, or being more attuned to their life’s calling/purpose.

    thank you
    Matt Dilges