Saturday, September 8, 2018

National Suicide Awareness Month: Can We Save Others, Including Writers?

Virginia Woolf.
Ernest Hemingway.
Sylvia Plath.

All great writers.

But they also share something else in common:  Suicide.

Brilliant lives and careers were cut short by their own hand, the very hand that was used to write great books that we still read today.  Could something have been done to save them?

In honor of September being Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, let’s pause to look at a serious issue.

Suicide is particularly high in the United States.  The number of suicides doubled the number of homicides last year.  We lost 41,000 people in the past 12 months due to depression, mental illness, and feelings of neglect, guilt, abandonment, and loss.  Some of the very same conditions and states of mind that fuel great, heart-felt writing can also move one to end their life.

Can we, as a society, do more to help those who are troubled souls?  Of course.  

But truthfully, some people, no matter how many drugs they take, visits made to the psychiatrist, or changes made to their lives, will still take the ultimate action against themselves.  But the numbers are escalating and we are seeing too many people die in despair, believing a better solution didn’t exist.

We can save some lives and we can give people a healthier happier, more satisfying perspective of life.  For all those who cross the line and kill themselves, how many more contemplate it or live on the fringes of anxiety, deep depression, and feelings of loneliness?  We want to improve their lives as well.

So what can be done?

1.      If you are depressed, seek help.  Tell someone.  Contact a therapist or reach out to a suicide prevention hotline (800-273-8255).

2.      If you are taking medications for depression, stick with them.  If you feel they no longer work, seek a doctor’s help to find what will work.

3.      Be aware – for yourself – and others – of the warning signs of suicidal tendencies or depression.

4.      Consult sites like to learn more.

5.      When someone seems agitated, can’t sit still, expresses fears, or seems to have given up – not eating, not sleeping, not talking about the future, step in to help.  Don’t argue with them, don’t judge, don’t convince them their hallucinations aren’t real. Just listen, be supportive and encourage they get help.  If someone says they want to kill themselves, call 9-1-1

Suicide is at epidemic proportions in the United States. Each year we lose the equivalent of the number of people attending a sold-out Boston’s Fenway Park. Writers and creative types – and intellectuals – have a long history with suicide – but so do waitresses, financial executives, retirees, housewives, students, and everyone from every field. Together, we can save some lives.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.

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