Why do we joke about killing ourselves? Suicide, stigma, and humor

Humor serves a variety of functions, and the current study seeks to understand the function of suicide-related humor. Through the creation of a novel suicide-humor scale, we measured participants’ usage of suicidal humor and general humor, their experience with suicidality, and their stigma towards suicide. Our hypotheses that greater experience with suicidality will predict an […]

Reflections on jokes and cartoons about suicide.


Police Humor in Suicide Investigation (In: Suicide and Law Enforcement, edited by D C Sheehan & J I Warren)

Humour is a highly specialized psychological response to the stress of human tragedy. This chapter reports personal observations of police humour encountered in more than 2500 suicide investigations; describes the red, yellow, greeen, & white zones of primitive, immature, adolescent, & mature humour; relates these zones to officer maturity; gives examples of each zone, & […]

Moving From Suicide Trauma to Hope, Exploring Humour

Authority/Autonomy: Achieving a Balance

This manuscript provides the text of a presentation given at the 1993 meeting of the International Association of Suicide Prevention. The presenter discussed the crucial task, for all voluntary organisations, of establishing the balance between authority & autonomy. The Samaritans were used as a case example.

SIEC Book Review-Final Exit for Cats: A Feline Suicide Guide, by M Viner

The book being reviewed is avaible for viewing at SIEC #1992-0973.

A Personal Story: There is a Light at the end of the Tunnel (IN: Suicide Prevention in Georgia: Healing and Hope)

The Last Kevorkorium: Rights and Responsibilities at Death’s Door

There are Days…and Moons…and Public Holidays. Self-Poisoning is not Lunacy

This letter to the editor presents a tongue-in-cheek examination of the association between public holidays and self-destructive behaviours. The point is made that, contrary to popular belief, public holidays generally seem to have a protective effect against self-harm behaviours.

Laughing Your Way to Peace of Mind: how a Little Humor Helps Caregivers Survive

Research on the emotional & physical benefits of laughter supports the use of humour by professionals & family members who occupy caregiving roles. This article addresses this research & examines common caregiver emotions while providing concrete guidelines for developing humour. Case examples demonstrate how laughter & wit are utilized by those caring for a loved […]

“Hale-Bopp” and “Knocking on Heaven’s Gate”. Hits of the Internet, 1997

In this tongue-in-cheek letter to the editor, the authors examine possible associations between self-poisoning & celestial or occult events. However, they also make a more serious point about the use & misuse of statistics on the Internet. 4 refs.)

Dancing With the Skeleton: Meditations for Suicide Survivors

This 30-page booklet conveys the intense agony along with tears, laughter, self-worth, and recovery when someone you love completes suicide. The author, a professional comedy writer who lost her mother to suicide, shares her wisdom and meditations for suicide survivors.

Suicide: Intervention and Therapy. Undoing the Forever Decision

The Lost Prinze of Comedy

This article is on Freddie Prinze, a comedian, who committed suicide at age 22. Prinze became very successful very quickly but he had many personal problems including drug & alcohol abuse, an impending divorce & separation from his 10-month-old son.

The Lifesaving Function of Humor With the Depressed and Suicidal Elderly

Situations where laughter or humour occurred during therapy with depressed & suicidal patients are described. 5 principles associated with therapeutic humour are discussed. Application of these principles is based upon a knowledge of the required interventions & an awareness of when humour is or is not appropriate. The main effects are symptom relief & increased […]

Step Back From the Exit: 45 Reasons to say no to Suicide

This book contains 45 short essays which offer arguments & thoughts on why an individual should not commit suicide. For example, in the essay “Marilyn Monroe”, it is argued that although Monroe was glamorous, her suicide was not. Monroe suffered repeated childhood traumas including being abandoned & abused. Arena says that in spite of these […]

Resume (IN: On Suicide: Great Writers on the Ultimate Question, edited by J Miller)

After attempting suicide, poet Dorothy Parker decided that there were no adequate ways to kill oneself. “Resume” is her elegy to those failed attempts.

Creative Aging: fun While Getting old

Richman presents 10 commonalities of creative aging, including things such as: maintaining contact between generations, taking advantage of retirement & using psychotherapy when needed. Examples of how some of these commonalities relate to suicide are provided. Richman says that in assessment, there has been too little attention paid to the abilities & assets of the […]

Final Exit for Cats. A Feline Suicide Guide

This cartoon book, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, takes a humourous look at some of the reasons why a cat may want to undertake a final exit, as well as some of the household objects that could be used to achieve the desired outcome.

The Lifesaving Function of Humor With the Depressed and Suicidal Elderly

This article analyzes the benefits of humour for counselling elderly suicidal patients. The author begins by outlining the theories of prominent psychiatrists on humour & therapy. He then provides a number of examples from his own practise of the use of humour by patients. Laughing is particularly helpful for suicidal patients since they often feel […]

Lakewood Family and Community Support Services

This kit, put together by the Lakewood Family & Community Support Services in Alberta, contains information for Native Peoples on suicide, death & grieving. Myths & facts on suicide are given. Danger signs of suicide, advice on how to help, and suicide prevention at the community level is provided. The grieving cycle, grief in children, […]

Bizarre Suicides

The author states that it is their loss of ability to perceive alternatives and the desire to find the quickest solution to their problems that leads suicidal people to bizarre solutions to those problems. The bizarre suicides that he presents fall into the following categories: famous historical, suicide by ingestion, failed attempts, creative suicides, and […]

Humor in Suicide Intervention