Understanding Suicide is not like any other book, commentary or conversation on suicide.
This book shines a light on the problem of suicide in our society. Analysing the social factors that enable and facilitate suicide, such as education, religion, the media, politics and the law, this book highlights suicide as a product of society’s structures.
Looking to society, rather than the individual, for both cause and solution, Understanding Suicide presents a new perspective on solving the problem of suicide. Society’s structures foster unfairness and inequality and render some individual characteristics, skills and abilities more favourable than others. This results in the marginalisation of those who cannot effectively contribute to society’s structured needs. Personal accounts of people affected by suicide underline how external forces influence the direction of lives, and take suicide out of the realm of personal choice.
Positive change requires a seismic shift involving changed attitudes, bottom-up community approaches and an acknowledgement of the unnecessary pain that society causes. We have a choice. If we remain as we are, then we must learn to live with suicide as a feature of our society. If, however, we accept and change the deadly, socially determined journey that carries some of our beautiful citizens to suicide, we can bring notable change to those suffering overwhelming pain.
At long last a publication has arrived dripping with the two words that are vital for good Mental Health – HOPE and HONESTY. This book is full of honesty, naming it as it is, no blame just asking everybody at all the different levels of society to be aware and take responsibility for self. There is also hope, there is tremendous hope. Hope lies in the vision, a vision of a new day, a new way. Vision is always greater than baggage.
Thanks Tony and Lucy for your great commitment in listening to our story. The healing is in telling our story.
Dr. Fergus Heffernan, PhD, Director of services for RD Consult.
I welcome this publication which contributes to the debate about suicide. This debate is important to obtain an understanding of the complexities around suicide and the complexity of the decision to take one’s life.
Dan Neville, President, Irish Association of Suicidology.
Having read this book, my understanding of suicide has undergone a seismic shift. I have been filled with hope that, as a society, we can bring powerful positive changes into our institutions, most especially education, to give each child vital tools for self-care and emotional wellbeing.
Rose Tully, Former National Secretary, Public Relations’ Officer, and President for the National Parents Council - Post Primary for 25 years.
Book Launch - July 10th 2015
'Understanding Suicide' was launched by Kilkenny's Lord Mayor, Joe Malone. Frank Kavanagh was MC. Speakers were Rose Tully and Tony Walsh. Columba Press were represented by Trish and Michael. Friends and family travelled from all over the country to support both authors.