Books for Adults

Please note this is just a sample of books available and is simply a recommended reading list. SSN by no means promotes one book over the other and wishes to make clear the information in these books is meant to supplement, not replace, professional training.

Books About Suicide

Reasons to Stay Alive

Matt, Haig

At the age of 24, Matt Haig's world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

Why People Die by Suicide

Thomas, Joiner

From a biological standpoint, it almost doesn’t make sense: why would someone override mankind’s strongest instinct: self-preservation? Clinical psychologist Thomas Joiner explores why humans consider suicide, using years of research as well as his own personal experience. The result is a guide written for both those treating suicidal patients and those struggling after the suicide of someone close to them.

Hope and Healing After Suicide

Book - A practical guide for people who have lost someone to suicide in Ontario

When people die by suicide, they leave behind family and friends who suddenly find themselves mourning the person’s loss and wondering what happened. This guide addresses many personal issues related to a death by suicide, including telling others, working through the grief, finding what helps people to heal, and grieving in children and youth.

457 Days: A Mother's Journey Along Grief's Path

457 Days is Starr’s candid chronicle of these trying, life-altering days and every day in between, starting her journey on the 54th day after her son Tom died by suicide, recording her powerful emotions. At the same time, it is a celebration of her son’s life and legacy—ensuring that Tom will not be remembered solely for the mode of his death. Starr recounts her own journey toward acceptance and peace

For books related to after a suicide press here

Books of Interest to Men

Guts, Grit and the Grind

Sally Spencer-Thomas, Sarah W. Gaer & Frank King.

Stories written by men about men’s mental health and resilience. From our market research we learned that men really want to hear stories from other men about the struggles they have faced and how they have overcome them and also to find tools they can use that have been shown to work.

Men & Grief: A Guide for Men Surviving the Death of a Loved One and a Resource for Caregivers and Mental Health Professionals

Carol Staudacher, New Harbinger Publications, 1991.

Separate chapters address bereavement experienced during boyhood, adolescence, and adulthood, as well as a chapter on the effect of alcohol abuse on grief. While the book does include some discussion of bereavement after suicide, the focus is on the male experience of bereavement more generally.

Men Don’t Cry… Women Do: Transcending Gender Stereotypes of Grief

Terry L. Martin and Kenneth J. Doka, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2000.

Part of Robert Neimeyer’s “Death, Dying, and Bereavement Series,” this book is best suited for mental health professionals and others interested in exploring the theoretical and clinical aspects of gender-typical grief. While not specific to suicide loss, the book addresses the impact of socialization and culture on how individuals experience 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 fifteen-year-old son’s suicide, his own lifelong struggle with depression, and the difficult path that led him to ultimately seek treatment.

Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing

Thomas R. Golden, Golden Healing Publishing, 1996.

Written by a licensed clinical social worker, this book explores the stereotypically masculine experience of grief. In the author’s words, “[a] man reading these pages will find a book that honors the uniqueness of a man’s path toward healing. A woman reading this book will benefit not only from gaining a deeper understanding of the men in her life, she will [also] find herself in these pages.”

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 twelve suggestions in each half of the book are practical and straightforward.

When Suicide Comes Home: A Father’s Diary and Comments

Paul Cox, Bolton Press 2002.

A father’s perspective on the first year following his son’s suicide, this book is written in a simple, straightforward style, making it easy reading for early grief. Though written from a father’s perspective, female readers (especially spouses) have said that the book helped them to better understand the male experience of grief.

Books of Interest to Multicultural Groups

coming soon