How Simple Human Connection Can Help Save People from Suicide


In this deeply reported piece at the Huffington Post Highline, Jason Cherkis looks at how suicide rates in the United States are at an all-time high — leaving no gender or demographic unaffected — while those of other Western or industrialized countries “have been flat or steadily decreasing.” In examining a complicated, underfunded healthcare system in the US that’s ill-equipped to serve those struggling, Cherkis finds some hope in therapist Ursula Whitehead, who uses a therapy pioneered by Jerome Motto to help suicidal people. Through short letters and texts specially crafted to reinforce positive personality traits and avoid judgement of any kind, both Motto and Whitehead have found that they’ve been able to connect with those in despair.

Over the last two decades, suicide has slowly and then very suddenly announced itself as a full-blown national emergency. Its victims accompany factory closings and the cutting of government assistance…

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