Books for Suicide Survivors

After my daughter died I felt the need to find answers. Sadly, my local library kept no list of survivor books so I searched on my own. Over the years since her death I've found several resources that would have been so helpful had I known.

Here's my go-to list:

The  American Foundation for Suicide Prevention publishes an exhaustive book list for suicide loss survivors. These books address topics from grief and resulting suicidality to financial changes due to suicide. We loss survivors are at higher risk of attempt post loss, so it's more important than ever for us to educate ourselves and to determinedly practice healthy self care.

The American Association of Suicidology keeps a list of books for suicide attempt survivors. I've found that attempt survivors are the most stigmatized of all survivors - even more than parents of those lost to suicide. I can't personally speak to survivor issues, because I have have never attempted. I can speak to the amazingness of reading books written by other people who "get it."

Attempted Suicide: The Essential Guide for Loved Ones is for family members of Attempt Survivors, who are often told that their grief or reaction is petty - that they should just be glad their person is still alive. We are also sometimes told that the attempt was our fault, or that we are responsible for making sure it never happens again. If a loved one's cancer/diabetes/etc. crises affects family members and friends, why wouldn't a suicide attempt? 

For people who think of suicide, which I have on occasion - just like 80% of the population! - I've found tons of resources. My favorites can be found at DBSA, AFSP, and Suicide Anonymous.

If you're reading this from outside of America, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has exhaustive resources.


If you are thinking of suicide right now, know that there are many physical illnesses that can cause suicidal thinking. Some of these are related to thyroid, MS, cancer treatment, heart surgery, urinary tract infection. Please seek medical help immediately.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

"The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals."


Or: Text CONNECT to 741741 in the United States.