Making Meaning after a Mental Health or Suicide Crisis: Interview with Dr. DeQuincy Lezine | Episode 7

NOTE: This podcast went live on 12/12 at 10AM ET/7AM PT on BlogTalk Radio and is uploaded on iTunes here (please leave rating and review):

You can also hear it here:


For people who are in the midst of a mental health or suicide crisis, the focus is often “how do we survive this?” How do we get through each day? Sometimes it’s an effort just to get by moment to moment. It’s hard to consider how to integrate these experiences into the narrative of our lives. In this episode, we hear a powerful story of a man who has been a role model for so many in showing us how this can be done. Listen in to learn more from the science, stories and strategies DeQuincy shares. Here you will find some practical tools on how to turn our wounds and darkest days into sources of power and inspiration as we move forward on our hero’s journey.


About Dr. DeQuincy Lezine: DeQuincy Lezine is a suicide attempt survivor who has been active in suicide prevention since 1996, including roles in the development of national, state, and community suicide prevention plans. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester. Dr. Lezine is the Co-Chair of the Consumer Survivor Subcommittee for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the Chair of the Attempt Survivor and Lived Experience Division of the American Association of Suicidology. He was the primary writer of The Way Forward released by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. He is also the author of Eight Stories Up: An Adolescent Chooses Hope Over Suicide, 13 Answers for The 13 Reasons Why, and CEO of Prevention Communities.

In his spare time he photographs rescue dogs to help increase their adoption potential (see a sample of his work in the graphic below). 

Show Notes


Listen to the podcast to learn more about the three steps DeQuincy suggests that help us make meaning out of our challenges with mental health and suicide:

1)      Start by writing your story. The words you use to tell your story shape how you think about how you integrate your difficult experiences into your life.

2)      Understand that choosing to live is not the same as refraining from dying. The process of making meaning often leads to better life satisfaction.

3)      Chose to create a powerful, positive story that fosters hope for yourself and others. Find significance in something larger than yourself by using your lessons learned to help others.


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·        BLOG: 5 Ways to Tap into Hope as a Defiant Superpower against Despair

·        Poem: The Gates of Hope

·        My TEDx Talk: Stopping Suicide with Story

·        Narrative Psychology

·        Reasons for Living Scale (Linehan, et al)

·        Positive Psychology

·        Melinda Moore’s research on Post traumatic Growth

·        Hero’s Journey narrative

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·        BLOG: Word Make Worlds (on why language matters in suicide prevention)

Here's the HIV post-traumatic growth study:

DeQuincy's Lived Experience Academy

Option B on resilience in general:

POEM: Invictus by William Ernest Henley


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