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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Free Suicide Prevention Book

There's been a lot of news about veterans' suicide of late, and I wanted to share a free resource with you today. It's a book called Suicide, the Forever Decision: For Those Thinking About Suicide and For Those Who Know, Love and Counsel Them, by Paul Quinnett, Ph.D. Meet him in this November KXLY4 report [Spokane, Washington/Northern Idaho]:

From Suicide, the Forever Decision:


Dear Reader,

I don't know who you are or why you are reading these words. I only know that you have picked up this book and, for the moment, you are reading it. It is my hope that if you need this book, you will continue to read it.

As an author, it would help me a great deal if I knew more about you. But I don't and, unless we meet sometime someplace, we can never know one another. So we are stuck right here in the beginning. We are strangers and that is the way things will be between us. But this should not stop us. At least it will not stop me.

I am going to write this book directly to you, as if you were sitting with me in my office. My office is a warm room. It is quiet and private. We have comfortable chairs and the phone doesn't ring. No one will disturb us in my office. It is the office in which I do what psychologists often do-listen to people, talk with them, and try to help them with life's problems.

At the outset I must assume a couple of things about you. And while it is dangerous to make assumptions about people, because of our relationship, I will have to do it. I will assume that because you are reading this book, you have thought about taking your own life, or that you have already attempted to do so. Either way, I will assume you are greatly troubled and that you have considered ending your life.

Assuming this to be true, I am going to talk to you about the pain of living and the consequences of dying, so far as I know about them. I am going to talk to you about suicide. And because your life is at stake, I am not going to fool around. I am not going to kid you. I am not going to mince words.

Rather, I intend to be just as honest and straightforward as I know how to be. And because I have known many people who have wanted to kill themselves and too many who have, I have some idea of what kind of mood you are in at the moment. I know you may not be up to reading a book. But maybe you could read this one. I will keep it short.

One of the reasons I have written this book is that suicide is an unpleasant topic. People do not like to talk about it. They do not like to hear that another human being is so troubled that he or she is considering self-destruction. But this silence is not good for us. It is not good for the troubled person and it is not good for those of us who may wish to avoid the fact that someone we know is so desperate and so alone that ending his or her life seems the only solution. It is time we talked, and talked candidly.

Some people may argue that a book of this kind should not be written and that, somehow, talking plainly about suicide will increase the chances that a reader may die by suicide. I do not believe this is true, and several research studies support my opinion. Rather, it is my feeling that the more we learn about dying, the more we learn about living. And, when we have learned more about both, maybe we are better able to fully live all of the life we have left to us.

Another reason I have written this book is that many people kill themselves without ever knowing that help was just phone call away. You wonder, in this modern age, how this can be. But it is true. So maybe this book will find its way into the hands of someone who never knew help was there and where to find it. Maybe this book will give someone that little bit of courage they need to ask for that help, or to hold on for another day or another week or until their life changes for the better and the thoughts of suicide begin to fade.

Just one more note.

I do not have any magic answers or quick solutions to life's problems. I don't think anyone does. So I won't offer you any easy ways of living or simple solutions to the pain and suffering that seem to be a part of all our lives. But because this book is about suicide and nothing less than your life is at stake, I won't apologize for what I have to say to you that you may not like. For all I know, this book may be the last thing you ever read.

Paul Quinnett

Please download the book (online viewing and a French translation also available at that link), and if you are in need of immediate help, please contact one of the numbers listed below:

Veteran-to-Veteran Peer Counseling

Nat'l Veterans Foundation Help Line
1-888-777-4443 (M-F 9-9 Pacific)
Email help also available from NVF

Suicide Hotlines

Suicide Help Online

More PTSD resources (in right hand column).

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