Currently viewing the tag: "suicide"

car crash

Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. –The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: What circumstances would cause you to consider taking your life?

Art Prompt: Suicide

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about suicide and its link to war.

Photo Credit: Boston Public Library on Flickr

mon BD blues

The birthday effect (sometimes called the birthday blues, especially when referring specifically to suicide) is a statistical phenomenon where an individual’s likelihood of death appears to increase on or close to their birthday. The birthday effect has been seen in studies of general populations in England and Wales, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States, as well as in smaller populations such as Major League Baseball players. Studies do not consistently show this correlation; some find that men’s and women’s mortality rates diverge in the run-up to the birthday, while others find no significant change. Suggested mechanisms for the effect include alcohol consumption, psychological stress relating to the birthday, increased suicide risk, terminally ill patients attempting to hold on until their birthday, an increased mortality salience, or a physiological cycle that causes the body to weaken annually. It has also been suggested that it may be a statistical artifact, perhaps as a result of anomalies in reporting, but the birthday effect has also been seen in studies that control for known reporting anomalies. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving the birthday effect.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the most difficult birthday you’ve ever had.

Art Prompt: Birthday 

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Birthday Effect and give them suggestions how they can help their loved ones move through it.

Photo Credit: Rebecca on Flickr

bridge out1

Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. The bridge was being repaired: she went right through the Danger sign. The car fell a hundred feet into the ravine, smashing through the treetops feathery with new leaves, then burst into flames and rolled down into the shallow creek at the bottom. Chunks of the bridge fell on top of it. Nothing much was left but charred smithereens. –The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a family in which someone died when the death may have been a suicide or an accident. 

Journaling Prompt: What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?

Art Prompt: Bridge

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the difficulties that soliders coming back from war encounter.

Photo Credit: Jessica Merz on Flickr


Suicide is the third most common cause of death among American adolescents, and poisoning is the leading method of attempted suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unlike more violent methods, survival following self-poisoning is common, providing an opportunity to prevent subsequent suicide. However, little progress has been made in suicide prevention in the past 50 years. In fact, hospital admission rates for suicidal ideation and attempts by American children have more than doubled in the past decade…

Factors associated with suicide included recurrent self-poisoning episodes, being male and psychiatric care in the preceding year. Adolescents hospitalized for self-poisoning were also more likely to die from accidents than youths in the general population. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a suicide attempt.

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever considered suicide? What do you feel about suicide?

Art Prompt: Suicide attempt

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Teach your audience the signs that someone may be considering suicide, and give them strategies for handling the situation.

Photo Credit: Jason Kuffer on Flickr

Suicide underground

More than one million people worldwide, including over 40,000 North Americans commit suicide on an annual basis, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2012 estimation.
In a research article, Flett and his co-authors Professor Paul Hewitt of the University of British Columbia and Professor Marnin Heisel of Western University note that physicians, lawyers and architects, whose occupations emphasize on precision, and also those in leadership roles are at higher risk for perfectionism-related suicide, citing the recent cases of prominent perfectionists who died by suicide…
The authors document how being exposed to relentless demands to be perfect, a concept they refer to as socially prescribed perfectionism, is linked consistently with hopelessness and suicide. Other key themes discussed are: how perfectionistic self-presentation and self-concealment can lead to suicides that occur without warning; and how perfectionists often come up with thorough and precise suicide plans. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the internal dialogue of someone who is considering suicide as he or she goes through the day.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your experience with perfectionism and how it affects your mood.

Art Prompt: Perfectionism and suicide

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the dangers of perfectionism.

Photo Credit: Simon on Flickr

National Suicide Prevention

I remember the day my mother killed herself. I was a senior in college, studying for my final exams. When my father knocked on my apartment door and told me of my mother’s death, the pain seared. That day changed my life forever. For months, I walked around in a fog. For nearly 40 years, I’ve wished she could have envisioned an alternative to death. –Rachel Pruchno, PhD

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a child who survives a parent’s suicide.

Journaling Prompt: Write about any experience you’ve had with suicide. If you’ve had no experience with suicide, write about your feelings about a celebrity who committed suicide.

Art Prompt: Suicide in the family

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to recognize the signs that someone is considering suicide and give them strategies for responding effectively.

Photo Credit: Jared Keener on Flickr


“It seems that foreclosures affect suicide rates in two ways,” said co-author Jason Houle, assistant professor of sociology at Dartmouth College. “The loss of a home clearly impacts individuals and families, and can arouse feelings of loss, shame, or regret. At the same time, rising foreclosure rates affect entire communities because they’re associated with a number of community level resources and stresses, including an increase in crime, abandoned homes, and a sense of insecurity.”
The effects of foreclosures on suicides were strongest among adults 46 to 64 years old, who also experienced the highest increase in suicide rates during the recessionary period.
“Foreclosures are a unique suicide risk among the middle-aged,” Houle said. “Middle-aged adults are more likely to own homes and have a higher risk of home foreclosure. They’re also nearing retirement age, so losing assets at that stage in life is likely to have a profound effect on mental health and well-being.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a couple who goes through a foreclosure. Include internal monologue.

Journaling Prompt: What is the worst economic news you have ever received? How did it affect you? What did you have to do?

Art Prompt: Foreclosures and suicide

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the mental health risks associated with difficult economic times and provide strategies for coping.

Photo Credit: BasicGov on Flickr


In the past, the leading cause of injury deaths in America has consistently been car crashes but a new study has found that there are now more deaths each year from suicide than by car accidents… Part of the reason for this trend is due to the increased amount of emphasis put on vehicle safety, while sadly, it is much harder to prevent suicide. Even more troubling, experts predict that that the actual number of suicides is 20 percent higher than the reported number of suicides. –Orion Jones

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or poem about a character contemplating suicide.

Journaling Prompt: Write about any experience you’ve had with suicide.

Art Prompt: Suicide

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the societal problems contributing to the rise in suicides.

Photo Credit: Holly Ford Brown on Flickr


Life is about relationships. What happens when people are rejected and locked out of relationship with others?

…belonging to a group was probably helpful to our ancestors. We have weak claws, little fur, and long childhoods; living in a group helped early humans survive harsh environments. Because of that, being part of a group still helps people feel safe and protected, even when walls and clothing have made it easier for one man to be an island entire of himself.

But acceptance has an evil twin: rejection. Being rejected is bad for your health… They don’t sleep well, their immune systems sputter, and they even tend to die sooner than people who are surrounded by others who care about them.

Being excluded is also associated with poor mental health, and exclusion and mental health problems can join together in a destructive loop. People with depression may face exclusion more often because of the symptoms of their disorder — and being rejected makes them more depressed… People with social anxiety navigate their world constantly worried about being socially rejected. A feeling of exclusion can also contribute to suicide.

Exclusion isn’t just a problem for the person who suffers it, either; it can disrupt society at large… People who have been excluded often lash out against others. In experiments, they give people much more hot sauce than they can stand, blast strangers with intense noise, and give destructive evaluations of prospective job candidates. Rejection can even contribute to violence. An analysis of 15 school shooters found that all but two had been socially rejected. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write about a character dealing with rejection.

Journaling Prompt: When have you felt rejected? How did you act? How did it affect you?

Art Prompt: Rejection

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about the problem of exclusion and rejection in our culture.

Photo Credit: Annie Wu on Flickr