Suicide in Lee Hirsch’s “Bully”

[featured in the American Association of Suicidology's student newsletter, June 2012] Lee Hirsch’s documentary Bully is a heartbreaking and necessary film that illustrates the impact childhood bullying has on individuals, families, and communities. Hirsch follows the personal stories of three different teenagers, revealing their painful daily struggles with mental and physical abuse from their peers. …

What It Means To Be An Archie

[featured in the American Association of Suicidology Student Newsletter, December 2011] The recently released mockumentary, Archie’s Final Project, opens with an upside-down home-recorded image of a sun-drenched suburban ranch house. Enter Archie, also upside-down, holding the opening titles on placards that are right side up. This scene sets the pace for the whole film: the …

Survivor D24

I currently belong to a variety of email listserves relating to suicide studies and prevention: American Association of Suicidology, Youth Suicide Prevention Project Oregon, National Institute of Mental Health, National Action Alliance, American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, etc. One of these organizations recently invited me to participate in something called the …

From Dusk Till Dawn

[featured in the American Association of Suicidology's June 2011 Newsletter] On a sunny Saturday in New York, more than two thousand people gathered in Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza waiting to commence the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention’s annual Out of the Darkness Overnight walk. The crowd was suited up in pale blue personalized tee-shirts, each memorializing …

The Net [an excerpt].

Eleven men died during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge—an impressive figure considering the bridge industry usually estimated one death for every million dollars spent on building costs (Golden Gate = 35 million). In order to help lower this morbid statistic, bridge engineer Joseph Strauss installed a safety net that hung under the bridge …

The weight.

The first memory I have of suicide happened sitting cross-legged on the cool grass in my backyard with two girls from Racebrook Elementary School. We were ten or so, arranged in a circle, palms growing damp from the spring dirt as they stretched behind us supporting the weight of our underdeveloped bodies. Jen, my closer …