The experience of life and completion of suicide

Background: Over the last century the medical view of suicide (that it is always or almost always the result of a mental disorder) has prevailed. It has been refuted but it persists. We are of the view that a more realistic path to suicide can be characterized by three components 1) people may find life […]

Master clinician review: Saving Holden Caulfield: Suicide prevention in children and adolescents

OBJECTIVE:The rate of adolescent suicide and suicidal behavior has risen dramatically in the past decade. The title of this article comes from the classic coming-of-age novel by J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye. Its protagonist, Holden Caulfield, is a precocious adolescent who, in the face of his inability to cope with his own self-destructives […]

From oral to written: A celebration of Indigenous literature in Canada 1980-2010

Aboriginal Canadians tell their own stories, about their own people, in their own voice, from their own perspective.If as recently as forty years ago there was no recognizable body of work by Canadian writers, as recently as thirty years ago there was no Native literature in this country. Perhaps a few books had made a […]

The ethics of suicide.


The myth of Sisyphus and other essays.


Suicidal ideation and completed suicide in the Decameron.


Life Force Project: Final Evaluation Report

The report presents the evaluation findings of the Life Force Project. The aim of the project was to explore the issues for community groups in addressing suicide, parasuicide, & suicidal behaviour among their clients & the wider community. A drama approach was rooted in community development principles & designed to develop life enhancing skills. The […]

Cleopatra’s Corpse: Motivation for Cleopatra’s Suicide in the Ancient Texts

Horace, Plutarch, & Dio Cassius are the 3 main sources for Cleopatra. All used fairly harsh language against her before her suicide but softened their tone & portrayed her more appreciately once she decided to take her own life. This paper explores the possible explanations for this & the apparent contradiction it creates. Through close […]

The Legacy of Lucretia: Rape-Suicides in art, 509 BC-2008 (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

While rape is a known risk factor for suicidality in both men & women, it has received relatively little attention in suicidology. There is also a relative lack of attention to the extent to which & how rape-suicide has been covered in various art forms. It is clear that one portrayal of rape-suicide, that of […]

Suicide Motives in 61 Works of Popular World Literature and Comparison to Film (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

Research is needed to ascertain cultural patterns in literature as a whole. The present study fills this gap & focuses on motives for suicide in a large number of popular literary works. 3 contributions are made: 1) the provision of the first systematic taxonomy of motives for suicide in a representative sample of popular literary […]

Suicide in Detective Fiction (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

In real life, suicide may occur at a rate double the murder rate, yet is is relatively rare in detective fiction. This chapter examines reasons for this, asserting that the rules Auden, Van Dine, & Knox laid out for the genre have remained influential. These rules, particularly Auden’s, provide insight into audience needs & satisfactions […]

Suicide in Literature (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter opens with an exploration of general areas of interaction between psychology & literature. Subjects of discussion include understanding human behaviour in historical times, psychological analyses of literature, psychological studies of the author & the reader, & other points of contact – psychologizing as a literary genre & the effect of psychological thought upon […]

The Psychodynamics of Suicide in Sophocles’s Plays (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter presents an analysis of self-destructive behaviour as depicted by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles in two of his dramas, “Oedipus Rex” and “Antigone”. It is concluded the self-destructive behaviour depicted illustrates some of the psychodynamic processes often present in the minds of suicidal individuals but that the plays do not present new ideas […]

The Kabuki Effect (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

The phenomenon in which a creative work provokes a number of people to die by suicide is commonly known as the Werther Effect, in recognition of imitative suicides said to have been induced by the novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther” (1774). This chapter examines a Japanese suicide epidemic in the early 1700s that was […]

Poetry as Therapy: the Life of Anne Sexton (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter explores the value of having clients use their own poetry as a mean of working through psychological conflicts & distress. The life of Anne Sexton, an American poet, who died by suicide at the age of 45 is used as illustration. (20 refs.)

Pickwick’s Interpolated Tales and the Examination of Suicide: the Science of an Ending

This article examines the influence that the suicide of Robert Seymour, an illustrator, had upon Charles Dickens & the development of “The Pickwick Papers”. {35 notes)

Suicide and the Creative Arts

This edited book includes 22 chapters on suicide & the creative arts. Part 1 examines suicide in painting & the traditional visual arts. Part 2 is on the depiction of suicide in the movies. Suicide in literature is discussed in Part 3. Part 4 looks at understanding suicide through the arts & Part 5 is […]

Postvention: the Impact of Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour on Family Members, Professionals and Organisations (IN: Relating to Self-Harm and Suicide. Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Practice, Theory and Prevention, ed. by S Briggs, A Lemma and W Crouch



The author describes the painting “Ophelia” by John Everett Millais first displayed in 1852. Reaction at the time was mixed. Harris discusses Hamlet’s reflection on suicide as contrasted with Ophelia’s death. Although it seemed accidental, her apparent failure to try to save herself raises the question of suicide. Harris further discusses Shakespeare’s use of these […]

Fantasy and Reality in the Death of Yukio Mishima

Since the early 1950s, ritual suicide was a central element in the writing of Yukio Mishima. This article offers a psychological analysis of how Mishima’s concepts of the River of Body and the River of Action inevitably combined, uniting fantasy & reality & leading to his suicide. (54 refs.)

On the Turn

This comic book relates the story of Brianna, an Aboriginal teenager who develops a gambling problem. She finds help in traditional teachings & practices.

Princesses who Commit Suicide: Primary Children Writing Within and Against Gender Stereotypes


The Literacy Educator’s Role in Suicide Prevention