All Sides Of Suicide Chapter Overview


Emma  5

If she was late or I couldn’t get hold of her I’d worry she was dead. I was in a constant state of anxiety with no respite.

Mike Veny  21

Feeling suicidal is a regular thing for a lot of people. It doesn’t mean you’re going to take your own life.

Louise   29

We could see he needed help and we tried to get it but the doctors treated me as if I were a crazy woman.

Jane   37

Within 15 minutes of my leaving she tried to overdose. I still can’t believe it happened so quickly.

Holly    43

I saw the rest of my life as his carer in front of me with nothing ever changing and I realised I couldn’t do that.

Vanita   59

The clip was going viral and there was nothing I could do about it.  I felt desperate – that my life was over.

Sonja   67

I was sad and yet OK with his decision. I actually felt a sense of relief. Life had been tumultuous with him.

Devananda   73

Both lack of community and social isolation are huge risk factors for developing suicidal depression.

Melissa   85

She said suicide was her way of not making anyone unhappy any more. I’m sure she believed that.

Amanda  91

If they didn’t like something I said or did they said “That’s what happens when you don’t take your medication.”

Natasha David   95

Denial of his undiagnosed mental illness, a gambling addiction and other stresses finally took their toll.

Leann Middlemass   111

This brought back all the pain from my childhood and, suddenly, all the hurt poured out at once.

Shane Warren   117

I tend to work from a perspective that suicide needs to be talked about and, in some situations, talked to death.

Jessica   119

I think it’s important to remember that you did everything you could with the information you had at the time.

Justin Geange  123

Some days are great and some days are not, but that’s OK for me because I have learned that it’s OK not to be OK.

Judy   129

Some people choose not to seek help because they feel a sense of failure, or feel ashamed of needing it.

Helena   135

It became more and more obvious to me that prisons are overflowing with young men who have mental disorders.



Unreliable statistics   147

  • The figures we have and why they’re probably too low

Doing the talking   151

  • Conversations can save lives but, first, we have to break with cultural conditioning
  • Why some people are afraid of opening up
  • What do you do if someone isn’t OK?
  • Protect your own wellbeing

Sometimes we can help ourselves   159

  • Strategies for survival
  • Sitting with bad feelings

Sometimes we need help   163

  • Finding help
  • Limited professional support
  • Barriers to seeking help
  • The potential of technology

A different kind of grief   171

  • An implied accusation
  • Those bereaved by suicide are considered more deserving of blame
  • “That kind of person”
  • Sometimes people can’t be helped

Acting as a society 179

  • People with addictions
  • LGBTI people
  • People who are homeless
  • People who have been abused
  • People who live in poverty
  • Indigenous people
  • Bullies and their victims
  • People who are socially isolated
  • The elderly
  • People who are in prison
  • The economic cost of suicide


  • Most suicides can be prevented
  • We need to take a realistic view
  • When someone dies, the bereaved are not to blame
  • Much to be done


Read the introduction