The Writers Suicide Prevention Project
...because you are more important than your art
The MISSION of The Writer’s Suicide Prevention Project is to smash the idea of the inevitable self-destruction of the “tortured writer.” Our goal is to survey researchers and clinicians regarding mental illness, suicidal ideation and addiction in FICTION WRITERS, POETS, SONGWRITERS, SCREENWRITERS, COMEDY WRITERS & COMIC BOOK CREATORS, interview survivors about what works and what doesn’t, develop tools and find resources for those still suffering and present our findings to the creative community at large. If we can save one life it will have been worth it.
Find FACTS & SOLUTIONS. Share SURVIVOR tips.
Spread the #HopeContagion.
The Writers Suicide Prevention Project
Hello fellow writers of fiction, poets, songwriters, screenwriters, comedy writers, comic book creators and their friends and families! I am so glad you’re here, and I hope you decide to stay, learn more about suicide prevention in creative writers, explore our survivor stories, and help us spread a message of hope.
Much has been learned about how to report on suicide in a way that does not cause contagion, and yet, the death of creative people by suicide still fascinates. We speak of their “demons.” We refer to them as “tortured writers.” We crave their art and romanticize their suffering and deaths. We wonder if they would have continued to create with the same depth of talent had they recovered. Is madness a prerequisite to genius?
As a creative writer who has experienced addiction and suicidal ideation and recovered, the answer to the above questions has a certain urgency. No, I can’t say that I’m famous. I’ve published two novels, but I am still nurturing my writing skills. Nevertheless, as I learn of the deaths of fellow writers by suicide, I’ve grieved for them and the families and friends they’ve left behind. I’ve wondered–am I at risk, too?
Does the writing process and writer life cause mental illness? Or are mentally ill people more likely to be creative? Do we think differently? If so, what can we do to protect ourselves and support each other? If not, how can we counter the prevailing sentiment? How can we contain the contagion? How can we access the darker places in our human experience and write about them without sinking ourselves? Lastly, no matter how experienced or successful we are, how do we cope with the pressure we put on ourselves to produce quality work, put our hearts on display for all to see, and survive the response the world gives us?
These questions are important, because if you’re like me, well…quitting isn’t an option.
THE WRITERS SUICIDE PREVENTION PROJECT will progress in PHASES.
PHASES I & II – Provide immediate resources for at risk writers & their friends and families.
PHASE III – Learn how to report on suicide in a way that does not cause contagion
PHASE IV – Separate facts from fiction regarding creative writers and their risk of mental illness, addiction and suicide
PHASE V – Interview and share survivor stories
PHASE VI – Find out what creative writing programs are currently doing to educate their students about suicide prevention.
PHASE VII – Develop suicide prevention curriculum in concert with clinicians, educators, survivors and researchers that target creative writers.
YOU MATTER. ARE YOU IN CRISIS NOW?
CALL OR TEXT:
WHAT TO KNOW NOW
IS A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE?
WHAT TO KNOW
WHAT TO DO
WHAT NOT TO DO
FOR HELP WITH SUICIDAL THOUGHTS:
If this is an emergency and you or someone you love is at risk for suicide, call 9-1-1, a local mental health professional, or the national suicide hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE
If you are thinking about suicide, please read this first (It saved my life): http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/
FOR HELP WITH ADDICTION:
Narcotics Anonymous: www.na.org
By Young Addicts, For Young Addicts click: here
Alcoholics Anonymous: www.aa.org