…Most men in our survey attributed to any differences in suicide grief between men and women to male socialization to be strong and self-reliant and at the same time, many wished that they had access to more supportive men-friendly resources during their bereavement. We know that family members who have lost someone to suicide have an increased risk of suicide themselves — partly because of the exposure effect, partly because the suffering is so great, and partly because of the yearning to be with their loved one. Thus, we owe it to the men who want different options for suicide grief support — perhaps peer-to-peer, one-on-one, or side-by-side — to find innovative ways to help men honor their losses and find ways to integrate the tragedy into their life’s story.Read More
…The course of a complicated bereavement, like the process that often follows suicide, usually does not follow the straightforward path outlined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross so many decades ago, but rather twists and turns and circles back on itself through mazes of denial, sadness, anger, shame, blame, and multiple physical reactions. Several authors have described an “oscillating process” in complicated bereavement – a moving back and forth between loss-orientation and restoration orientation, between growth and depreciation…Read More
…I don’t really have the chops to be a researcher or the patience to be a clinician, but I often find myself in new territories, listening to people share their insights about living through unimaginable suffering. Then I look to connect partners much smarter than I who can make a difference in alleviating that despair. So, as I am listening, I think to myself, “there are the stories I wish we would talk about more.”Read More
Question: Is our hyper-focus on “safe messaging” getting in the way of “effective messaging”?...
For years, suicide prevention advocates have focused on “safe messaging,” a series of do’s and don’ts that emphasize help-seeking and discourage mentioning suicide details. The goal of these suggestions is to avoid triggering vulnerable people to over-identify with suicide as a way to escape their emotional pain. Many of these tips – like don’t glamorize or romanticize suicide --are beneficial, and we certainly don’t want our content to cause harm. But I and many others are starting to recognize that a single-minded focus on "safe messaging" may be getting in the way of us being effective in our communication....Read More