Challenging the discourse of suicide prevention: A bibliography

This post was originally published on November 19th, 2016.

When I started my PhD, I asked a few groups and people around me if they knew of resources that challenge mainstream discourses around suicide. I think at that time not many people understood what my PhD was about or what it was trying to do (I’m not sure I did myself!). Someone introduced me to the Hearing Voices Network but nothing directly on suicide. I am now at the beginning of my second year and have been  focusing on problematising the discourse of suicide prevention. I recently asked a group of people doing Mad Studies if they knew of any resource/project/author that did so. As I had predicted, not many people responded and I was familiar with most of the material that was shared which demonstrates that there is very little work that aims to challenge traditional understandings of suicide and suicide prevention. More work and reflection is needed. This is why I’ve decided to start a bibliography to compile such resources which hopefully will grow with time and as I get deeper into my research. Maybe it could be a starting point for other people to think about challenging what we very often take for granted about suicide and suicide prevention. Please do get in touch if you know of anything that would be relevant: . I am not necessarily interested only in academic resources and welcome also art based projects, documentaries, podcasts, personal reflections, blog posts that directly or indirectly problematise the ideology, discourse and practices behind suicide prevention.


Alvarez, A. (1971). The Savage God: A Study of Suicide. New York: Random House.

Baker, D. & Fortune, S. (2008). Understanding Self-Harm and Suicide Websites: A qualitative interview study of young adult website users. Crisis, 29(3), 118-122.

Colucci, E., Lester, D., Hjelmeland, H. (2012). Suicide and Culture: Understanding the Context. Cambridge: Hogrefe Publishing.

Feldmann, K. (2014). Suicidology prevents the cultivation of suicide.

Grant, A., Haire, J., Biley, F., Stone, B. (2013). Our Encounters with Suicide. PCCS Books.

Hillman, J. (1964). Suicide & The Soul. Spring Publication.

Jaworski, K. (2016). Divorcing Suicidology, EthicallySocial Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, 5(2), 18-25.

Kral, M. J. (2015). Critical Suicidology as an Alternative to Mainstream Revolving-Door SuicidologySocial Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, 4(6), 10-11.

Lawson-Te Aho, K. (2013). Whāia Te Mauriora – In Pursuit of Healing: Theorising Connections between Soul Healing, Tribal Self-determination and Māori Suicide Prevention in Aotearoa/New Zealand. PhD Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington.

Marsh, I. (2015). Critical Suicidology: Toward an Inclusive, Inventive and Collaborative (Post) Suicidology. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, 4(6), 5-9.

May, R. (2016). How do we live with suicidal ideas?Ladybeard: The Mind Issue.

Mills, C. (2017). ‘Dead People Don’t Claim’: A Psychopolitical Autopsy of UK Austerity Suicide. Critical Social Policy.

Puar, J. K. (2010). In the wake of “It Gets Better”. In M. Himley & A. Fitzsimmons (eds.), Critical Encounters with Texts: Finding a Place to Stand. Pearson Custom Publishing, pp. 429-431.

Puar, J. K. (2011). Coda: The Cost of Getting BetterGLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 18(1), 149-158.

Range, L. M. & Leach, M. M. (1998). Gender, Culture, and Suicidal Behavior: A Feminist Critique of Theories and Research. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 28(1), 24-36.

Szasz, T. (1971). The Ethics of Suicide. The Antioch Review, 31(1), 7-17.

Szasz, T. (1986). The Case Against Suicide Prevention. American Psychologist, 41(7), 806-812.

Szasz, T. (1999). Fatal Freedom: The Ethics and Politics of Suicide. Westport: Praeger Publishers.

Szasz, T. (2011). Suicide Prohibition: The Shame of Medicine. New York: Syracuse University Press.

Tatz, C. (1999). Aboriginal Suicide is Different. Aboriginal Youth Suicide in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, and New Zealand: Towards a Model of Explanation and Alleviation. A report to the Criminology Research Council on CRC Project 25/96-7.

Tatz, C. (2001). Aboriginal Suicide is Different: A Portrait of Life and Self-Destruction. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.

Webb, D. (2010). Thinking about Suicide: Contemplating and Comprehending the Urge to Die. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books.

Westerlund, M. (2012). The production of pro-suicide content on the Internet: a counter-discourse activity. New Media & Society, 14(5), 764-780.

White, J., Marsh, I., Kral, M.J., Morris, J. (2015). Critical Suicidology: Transforming Suicide Research and Prevention for the 21st Century. Vancouver and Toronto: UBC Press.


Discussions in Tunbridge Wells. (2017). Zero Suicide (an idea whose time has not, and should not, come): John McGowan.

Madness radio (2007). Youth Suicide with Leah Harris.

Madness radio (2011). Talking about Suicidal Feelings: David Webb.

Madness radio (2013). Understanding Borderline Trauma: Rita Marshall.


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