Suggested Reading List

Attempt Survivors

A Journey Toward Health and Hope: Your Handbook for Recovery After a Suicide Attempt
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2015.
This manual guides people through the first steps toward recovery and a hopeful future after a suicide attempt. Includes personal stories from survivors who share their experiences as well as strategies, such as reestablishing connections, finding a counselor to work with and creating a safety plan.

Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt
Kevin Hines, 2013.
At 19 years old, Kevin Hines attempted to take his own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge – a distance which took four seconds to fall. The fall would break his body, but not his spirit. Kevin’s story is a remarkable testament to the strength of the human spirit and a reminder to us to love the life we have.
This is How it Feels: A Memoir of Attempting Suicide and Finding Life
Craig Miller, 2012.
At 21 years old, Craig Miller attempted to end his own life. He sat on the edge of a rented bed and swallowed 250 pills. He lay back and closed his eyes, never imagining that a note he wrote to himself fourteen years earlier would be what would save his life. That note, written across the creases of a tear-stained paper, read, “Don’t ever forget how this feels.” For three days that followed, he lay in the Intensive Care Unit fighting a battle to start over. His triumph over this battle would prove to change his life forever. Now at 36, Craig is free from OCD and the mental illness that once plagued him. He has found peace in his life’s events and overcome incredible odds to leave his past behind. And despite everything he has broken ties with, writing has been the one thing to remain with him through it all.

Loss Survivors

After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief
Jack Jordan, Ph.D., and Bob Baugher, Ph.D., Caring People Press, 2016 (2nd edition).
This excellent handbook is organized chronologically to follow the days, weeks, and months after a suicide loss. It includes straightforward information about psychiatric disorders, when to seek professional help, and practical strategies for coping and healing.

Bruised and Wounded: Struggling to Understand Suicide
Ronald Rolheiser, 2017
With chapters on “Removing the Taboo,” “Despair as Weakness Rather than Sin,” and “The Pain of the Ones Left Behind,” Rolheiser offers hope and a new way of understanding death by suicide.
Understanding Your Suicide Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart
Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., 2009.
For anyone who has experienced the suicide of a loved one, coworker, neighbor, or acquaintance and is seeking information about coping with such a profound loss, this compassionate guide explores the unique responses inherent to their grief. Using the metaphor of the wilderness, the book introduces 10 touchstones to assist the survivor in this naturally complicated and particularly painful journey.
Someone I Love Died by Suicide: A Story for Child Survivors and Those Who Care for Them
Doreen Cammarata, Grief Guidance, 2000.
An illustrated book explaining depression and suicide in child-friendly language.
Conversations of Courage: A Caregiver-Guided Activity Journal for the Child of Suicide Loss
Erika Barber, MAT, CCLS, AFSP Illinois Chapter, 2016. To order Conversations of Courage, email
This 81-page interactive workbook encourages and facilitates healthy and truthful conversations between an adult caregiver and a child, meaning-making, and emotional expression following the loss of a loved one to suicide.
I Was Here
Gayle Forman, Speak, 2016.
Gayle Forman’s poignant young adult novel follows Cody’s search to understand why her friend Meg ended her life. The publisher describes the book as “a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.”
Real Men Do Cry: A Quarterback’s Inspiring Story of Tackling Depression and Surviving Suicide Loss
Eric Hipple, with Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley, Quality of Life Publishing, 2008.
Former NFL quarterback for the Detroit Lions, Eric Hipple, candidly shares his experience of living through his 15-year-old son’s suicide, his own lifelong struggle with depression, and the difficult path that led him to ultimately seek treatment.
When a Man Faces Grief/A Man You Know Is Grieving: 12 Practical Ideas to Help You Heal from Loss
Thomas R. Golden and James Miller, Willowgreen Publishing, 1998.
This book focuses on grief in general rather than suicide grief in particular. The authors share their view of the “masculine side” of healing. The book’s format is unique: the first half provides guidance to the grieving man himself; turned upside down, the second half advises his family and friends on how best to help him. The 12 suggestions in each half of the book are practical and straightforward

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