A comprehensive handbook on the subject of suicide.
Leippi (Road Tripping from Alaska to New York City, 2018, etc.) begins her slim nonfiction book with some of the many staggering, sobering statistics about suicide. Worldwide, there's a death by suicide roughly once every 40 seconds—850,000 fatalities each year, according to a World Health Organization statistic quoted here. In the United States alone, an average of 42,000 people die of suicide every year—roughly 117 every day. And as Leippi stresses at several points in the book, the potential threat of suicide lurks in the lives of everyone. A series of unlucky breaks, an impending prison sentence, a latent tendency for deep depression…virtually any person can begin to have suicidal thoughts if put under enough stress. Leippi’s short, straightforward book aims to circumvent the societal stigma of the subject and offer practical advice and encouragement on a wide range of suicide-related topics, advice aimed at both readers who may be suicidal and at their friends, employers, and loved ones. Although the author’s attempts to leaven the solemnity of the subject fall flat (the book contains fun recipes and an odd insistence on covering your mouth when you cough), the book derives a great deal of power from a series of profiles of people who’ve dealt with suicide in some capacity or other. These ministories are arresting and do a great deal to bring home Leippi’s larger points: At some point, virtually anyone can find themselves thinking suicidal thoughts, and hope is always possible—and preferable to despair. The author smoothly weaves her own story throughout the narrative; readers connected to suicide in any way will find much of interest here, including a list of suicide-prevention hotlines.
A quick, passionate primer on suicide and the optimistic thoughts needed to counter it.