More and more health care systems, both in North America and Europe, are adopting the Zero Suicide approach and finding success. This editorial examines this movement which, by improving patient care and changing attitudes toward suicide, aims to eliminate suicide altogether.
Among the Walking Wounded: Soldiers, Survival, and PTSD by Colonel John Conrad. Dundurn Press. (2017). 230 p.
“In the shadows of army life is a world where friends become monsters, where kindness twists into assault, and where self-loathing and despair become constant companions. Whether you know it by old names like “soldier’s heart,” “shell shock,” or “combat fatigue,” post-traumatic stress disorder has left deep and silent wounds throughout history in the ranks of fighting forces.
Among the Walking Wounded tells one veteran’s experience of PTSD through an intimate personal account, as visceral as it is blunt. In a courageous story of descent and triumph, it tackles the stigma of PTSD head-on and brings an enduring message of struggle and hope for wounded Canadian veterans. This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about Canadian veterans and the dark war they face long after their combat service is ended” (from book jacket).
The Suicide Funeral (or Memorial Service): Honoring Their Memory, Comforting Their Survivors edited by Melinda Moore and Daniel Roberts. Resource Publications. (2017). 190 p.
“To our knowledge nothing with The Suicide Funeral (or Memorial Service): Honoring Their Memory, Comforting Their Survivors’ scope and depth has ever been published. This is an aid to anyone who will be called upon to do a funeral for the nearly 43,000 suicides in America each year. This book is designed to assist clergy, chaplains, and other faith leaders as they develop sermons and homilies for a funeral service. Its mandate is to help those searching for inspiration even though they may feel confused or uncertain undertaking such a daunting assignment. Those who plan and lead a funeral service may enable family and friends to understand and participate intentionally in their grief process. Clergy can have a significant impact on how people react to the suicide as well as provide comfort and assistance to those left behind on their journey through grief. Your leadership will influence how the suicide’s bereaved are treated by others in the days, weeks, and months following the death. Because suicide does not discriminate by race, socio-economic status, or religion, a broad range of faiths and denominations are represented in this book’s sermons, services, and perspectives” (from book jacket).
The Unravelling: How Our Caregiving Safety Net Came Unstrung and We Were Left Grasping at Threads, Struggling to Plait a New One by Clem Martini and Olivier Martini. Freehand Books. (2017). 238 p.
“A memoir, told through illustrations and text, of one family’s journey through mental illness, dementia, caregiving, and the health care system.
Olivier Martini and his mother, Catherine, have lived together since he was diagnosed with schizophrenia thirty-six years ago. It hasn’t always been a perfect living situation, but it’s worked — Catherine has been able to help Olivier through the ups and downs of living with a mental illness, and Olivier has been able to care for his aging mother as her mobility becomes limited, and Olivier’s brothers Clem and Nic have been able to provide support to both as well. But then Olivier experiences a health crisis at the exact same time that his mother starts slipping into dementia.
The Martini family’s lifelong struggle with mental illness is suddenly complicated immeasurably as they begin to navigate the convoluted world of assisted living and long-term care. With anger, dry humour, and hope, The Unravelling tells the story of one family’s journey with mental illness, dementia, and caregiving, through a poignant graphic narrative from Olivier accompanied by text from his brother, award-winning playwright and novelist Clem Martini” (from book jacket).
Setting Up and Facilitating Bereavement Groups: A Practical Guide by Dodie Graves. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. (2017).
“Those who have been bereaved are in need of support, and groupwork is an effective way in which people can come together and support each other in a trusted environment.
This book provides a practical introduction to setting up and facilitating bereavement support groups, giving facilitators the confidence to run a group. It guides the reader through all the stages of setting up a group, and examines different types of facilitation and the skills needed. Case studies illustrate different types of group, such as closed, time-limited groups and open groups, with a discussion about the potential of online groups. Chapters also cover group dynamics, handling challenging situations, and overcoming problems that may arise.
This accessible book helps to make groups successful for both participants and facilitators, and is a valued source of information and guidance for those working with bereaved people, including hospice and hospital staff, counsellors, trainers, managers and social workers” (from book jacket).
Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours) by Harold Johnson. University of Regina Press. (2016). 180 p.
“A passionate call to action, Firewater examines alcohol—its history, the myths surrounding it, and its devastating impact on Indigenous people.
Drawing on his years of experience as a Crown Prosecutor in Treaty 6 territory, Harold Johnson challenges readers to change the story we tell ourselves about the drink that goes by many names—booze, hooch, spirits, sauce, and the evocative “firewater.” Confronting the harmful stereotype of the “lazy, drunken Indian,” and rejecting medical, social, and psychological explanations of the roots of alcoholism, Johnson cries out for solutions, not diagnoses, and shows how alcohol continues to kill so many. Provocative, irreverent, and keenly aware of the power of stories, Firewater calls for people to make decisions about their communities and their lives on their own terms” (from book jacket).