A great many books address different aspects of suicide assessment, intervention, and prevention. In this section of the website, I have divided them into various categories:

About Suicide: Research & Theory

Risk Assessment and Management

Therapy and Counseling with Suicidal Clients

Suicide Prevention: Special Groups and Settings

If You Are Suicidal: Self-Help Books and Memoirs

After a Suicide

NOTE: I haven’t read all of these books, and a book’s inclusion in these lists is not necessarily a recommendation or endorsement. If you want me to add a book to the list, please let me know by submitting a comment below.

About Suicide: Research & Theory

Briggs, S., Lemma, A., & Crouch, W. (Eds.) (2008). Relating to self-harm and suicide: Psychoanalytic perspectives on practice, theory and prevention. New York: Routledge.

Campbell, D., & Hale, R. (2017). Working in the dark: Understanding the pre-suicide state of mind. New York: Routledge.

Clarke, R. V., & Lester, D. (2013). Suicide: closing the exits. Transaction Publishers.

Colt, G. H. (2006). November of the soul: The enigma of suicide. Simon and Schuster.

Cutcliffe, J. R., Santos, J., Links, P. S., Zaheer, J., Harder, H. G., Campbell, F., et al. (Eds.) (2014). Routledge international handbook of clinical suicide research. New York: Routledge.

Ellis, T. E. (Ed.). (2006). Cognition and suicide: Theory, research, and therapy (pp. 237-259). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Holmes, R. M. (2005). Suicide: Theory, practice, and investigation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Jacobs, D. & Brown, H. N. (Eds.). (1989). Suicide: Understanding and responding. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.

Jamison, K. R. (1999). Night falls fast: Understanding suicide. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Jaworski, K. (2014). The gender of suicide: Knowledge production, theory and suicidology. New York: Routledge.

Joiner, T. (2005). Why people die by suicide. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Joiner, T. (2011). Myths about suicide. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Joiner, T. (2014). The perversion of virtue: Understanding murder-suicide. New York: Oxford University Press.

Kumar, U. (2015). Suicidal behaviour: Underlying dynamics. New York: Routledge.

Maltsberger, J. T. & Goldblatt, M. J. (Eds.). (1996). Essential papers on suicide. New York: New York University Press.

Maris, R. W., Berman, A. L., & Silverman, M. M. (2000). Comprehensive textbook of suicidology. New York: Guilford Press.

Mishara, B., & Kerkhof, A. J. F. M. (Eds.). (2013). Suicide prevention and new technologies: Evidence based practice. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Nock, M. K. (Ed.). (2014). The Oxford handbook of suicide and self-injury. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

O’Connor, R. (2021). When it is darkest: Why people die by suicide and what we can do to prevent it. Random House.

Shneidman, E. (1985). Definition of suicide. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Shneidman, E. S. (1993). Suicide as psychache: A clinical approach to self-destructive behavior. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Shneidman, E. S. (1996). The suicidal mind. New York: Oxford University Press.

Shneidman, E. S. (2001). Comprehending suicide. Landmarks in 20th-century suicidology. American Psychological Association.

Shneidman, E. S. (2004). Autopsy of a suicidal mind. New York: Oxford University Press.

Stillion, J. M., & McDowell, E. E. (2015). Suicide across the life span: Premature exits. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Wasserman, D. (2016). Suicide: An unnecessary death (2nd Ed.) Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Webb, D. (2010). Thinking about suicide: Contemplating and comprehending the urge to die. PCCS Books.

Risk Assessment & Management

Alonzo, D., & Gearing, R. (2018). Suicide assessment and treatment: Empirical and evidence-based practices. Springer.

Chiles, J. A., Strosahl, K. D, & Roberts, L. W. (2018). Clinical manual for assessment and treatment of suicidal patients (2nd Ed.). American Psychiatric Publishing.

Edwards, S. J. (2013). Suicide prevention contracting: The pitfalls, perils, and seven safer alternatives. Jason Aronson.

Flemons, D., & Gralnik, L. M. (2013). Relational suicide assessment: Risks, resources, and possibilities for safety. W. W. Norton.

Freedenthal, S. (2018). Helping the suicidal person: Tips and techniques for professionals. Routledge.

Galynker, I. (2017). The suicidal crisis: Clinical guide to the assessment of imminent suicide risk. Oxford University Press.

McGlothlin, J. M. (2008). Developing clinical skills in suicide assessment, prevention, and treatment. American Counseling Association.

Rudd, M. D. (2006). The assessment and management of suicidality. Professional Resource Press/Professional Resource Exchange.

Sadek, J. (2018). A clinician’s guide to suicide risk assessment and management. Springer.

Shea, S. C. (2011). The practical art of suicide assessment: A guide for mental health professionals and substance abuse counselors. Mental Health Presses.

Simon, R. I. (2011). Preventing patient suicide: Clinical assessment and management. American Psychiatric Publishing.

Simon, R. I., & Hales, R. E. Hales (Eds.). (2012). The American Psychiatric Publishing textbook of suicide assessment and management (2nd ed.). American Psychiatric Publishing.

Therapy & Counseling with Suicidal Clients

General or Combined Techniques

Bongar, B., & Sullivan, G. (2013). The suicidal patient: Clinical and legal standards of care. American Psychological Association.

Chiles, J. A., & Strosahl, K. D. Clinical manual for assessment and treatment of suicidal patients. American Psychiatric Publishing.

Courtet, P. (Ed.) (2016). Understanding suicide: From diagnosis to personalized treatment.  Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Freedenthal, S. (2018). Helping the suicidal person: Tips and techniques for professionals. Routledge.

My book Helping the Suicidal Person contains techniques from CAMS (Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality), cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, interpersonal theory, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, problem-solving therapy, solution-focused therapy, and more. For more information about Helping the Suicidal Person, see About the Book on this website.

Granello, P. F., & Juhnke, G. A. (2010). Case studies in suicide: Experiences of mental health professionals. Pearson.

McGlothlin, J. M. (2008). Developing clinical skills in suicide assessment, prevention, and treatment. American Counseling Association.

Michel, K., & Jobes, D. A. (Eds.). (2011). Building a therapeutic alliance with the suicidal patient. American Psychological Association.

Palmer, S. (2014). Suicide: Strategies and interventions for reduction and prevention.  Routledge.

Quinnett, P. G. (2000). Counseling suicidal people: A therapy of hope. The QPR Institute.

Simon, R. I. (2011). Preventing patient suicide: Clinical assessment and management. American Psychiatric Publishing.

Simon, R. I., & Hales, R. E. Hales (Eds.). (2012). The American Psychiatric Publishing textbook of suicide assessment and management (2nd ed.). American Psychiatric Publishing.

Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2021).  Suicide Assessment and Treatment Planning: A Strengths-Based Approach. Routledge.

CAMS (Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality)

Jobes, D. A. (2016). Managing suicidal risk: A collaborative approach (2nd ed.). Guilford Press.

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

CBT for Professionals

Bryan, C. J. (2015). Cognitive behavioral therapy for preventing suicide attempts: A guide to brief treatments across clinical settings. Routledge.

Rudd, M. D., Joiner, T. E., & Rajab, M. H. (2001). Treating suicidal behavior: An effective, time-limited approach. Guilford Press.

Tarrier, N., Gooding, P., Pratt, D., Kelly, J., Maxwell, J., & Awenat, Y. (2013). Cognitive behavioural prevention of suicide in psychosis: A treatment manual. Routledge.

Wenzel, A., Brown, G. K., & Beck, A. T. (2009). Cognitive therapy for suicidal patients: Scientific and clinical applications. American Psychological Association.

CBT for the Suicidal Person (Self-Help)

Blauner, S. R. (2002). How I stayed alive when my brain was trying to kill me. New York: Harper Collins.

Ellis, T. E., & Newman, C. F. (1996). Choosing to live: How to defeat suicide through cognitive therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Gordon, K. H. (2021). The Suicidal Thoughts Workbook: CBT Skills to Reduce Emotional Pain, Increase Hope, and Prevent Suicide. New Harbinger.

DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)

Although most of these DBT books aren’t specific to treating suicidality, DBT itself was designed for people with chronic suicidal ideation.

Koerner, K. (2012). Doing dialectical behavior therapy: A practical guide. Guilford Press.

Linehan, M. M. (1993). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. Guilford Press.

Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT skills training handouts and worksheets (2nd ed.). Guilford Press.

Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT skills training manual (2nd ed.). Guilford Press.

Miller, A. L., Rathus, J. H., & Linehan, M. M. (2017). Dialectical behavior therapy with suicidal adolescents. Guilford Press.

Interpersonal Theory

Joiner, T. E., Jr., Van Orden, K. A., Witte, T. K., & Rudd, M. D. (2009). The interpersonal theory of suicide: Guidance for working with suicidal clients. American Psychological Association.

Mindfulness-Based Therapy

Williams, J. M. G., Fennell, M., Barnhofer, T., Silverton, S., & Crane, R. (2015). Mindfulness and the transformation of despair: Working with people at risk of suicide. Guilford Press.

Narrative Approach

Michel, K., & Gysin-Maillart, A. (Eds.). (2015). ASSIP: Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program: A manual for clinicians. Hogrefe Publishing.

Solution-Focused Therapy

Fiske, H. (2008). Hope in action: Solution-focused conversations about suicide. New York: Routledge.

Suicide Prevention: Special Groups & Settings

Adolescents (see also Schools)

Berman, A. L., Jobes, D. A., & Silverman, M. M. (2006). Adolescent suicide: Assessment and intervention. American Psychological Association.

Brent, D. A., Poling, K. D., & Goldstein, T. R. (2011). Treating depressed and suicidal adolescents: A clinician’s guide. Guilford.

Cross, T. (2013). Suicide among gifted children and adolescents: Understanding the suicidal mind. Prufrock Press.

Edwards, L. M., & Ritter, M. K. (2013). Preventing adolescent depression and suicide among Latinas: Resilience research and theory. Springer.

Gutierrez, P. M., & Osman, A. (2008). Adolescent suicide: An integrated approach to the assessment of risk and protective factors. Cornell University Press.

Jurich, A. P. (2008). Family therapy with suicidal adolescents. Routledge.

King, C. A., Foster, C. E., & Rogalski, K. M. Teen suicide risk: A practitioner guide to screening, assessment, and management. Guilford.

King, R. A., & Apter, A. (2003). Suicide in children and adolescents. Cambridge University Press.

McDougall, T., Armstrong, M., & Trainor, G. (2011). Helping children and young people who self-harm: An introduction to self-harming and suicidal behaviours for health professionals. Routledge.

McEvoy, M. L., & McEvoy, A. W. (2000). Preventing youth suicide: A handbook for educators and human service professionals. Learning Publications.

Miller, A. L., Rathus, J. H., & Linehan, M. M. (2017). Dialectical behavior therapy with suicidal adolescents. Guilford.

Spirito, A., & Overholser, J. C. (2002). Evaluating and treating adolescent suicide attempters: From research to practice. Academic Press.

Wagner, B. M. (2009). Suicidal behavior in children and adolescents. Yale University Press.

African Americans

Poussaint, A. F., & Alexander, A. (2001). Lay my burden down: Suicide and the mental health crisis among African-Americans. Beacon Press.

Spates, K. (2014). What don’t kill us makes us stronger: African American women and suicide. Routledge.

Chronically Suicidal People

Paris, J. (2007). Half in love with death: Managing the chronically suicidal patient. Routledge.

Health Care

Bryan, C. J. (2010). Managing suicide risk in primary care. Springer Publishing Company.

Chehil, S., & Kutcher, S. P. (2012). Suicide risk management: A manual for health professionals. John Wiley & Sons.

Jails and Prisons

Dear, G. E. (2006). Preventing suicide and other self-harm in prison. Palgrave Macmillan.

Pratt, D. (2016). The prevention of suicide in prison: Cognitive behavioural approaches. Routledge.

Tartaro, C., & Lester, D. (2009). Suicide and self-harm in prisons and jails. Lexington Books.

Towl, G. J., & Crighton, D. A. (2017). Suicide in prisons: Prisoners’ lives matterWaterside Press.

Latinos/Latinas

Edwards, L. M., & Ritter, M. K. (2013). Preventing adolescent depression and suicide among Latinas: Resilience research and theory. Springer.

Zayas, L. H. (2013). Latinas attempting suicide: When cultures, families, and daughters collide. Oxford University Press.

Military & Veterans

Bateson, J. (2015). The last and greatest battle: Finding the will, commitment, and strategy to end military suicides. Oxford University Press.

Bongar, B., Sullivan, G., & James, L. (2017). Handbook of military and veteran suicide: Assessment, treatment, and prevention. Oxford University Press.

Bossarte, R. M. Veteran suicide: A public health imperative. American Public Health Association.

Leenaars, A. A. (2015). Suicide among the armed forces: Understanding the cost of service. Routledge.

Montgomery, V. (2009). Healing suicidal veterans: Recognizing, supporting, and answering their pleas for help. New Horizon Press.

Police

Armitage, R. (2017). Police suicide: Risk factors and intervention measures. Routledge.

Baker, T. E. (2012). Police suicide: Prevention, assessment, and intervention.   Looseleaf Law Publications.

Hackett, D. P., & Violanti, J. M. (2003). Police suicide: Tactics for prevention. Charles C. Thomas Publisher.

Leenaars, A. A., & Lund, D. A. (2017). Suicide and homicide-suicide among police. Routledge.

Rufo, R. A. (Ed.) Police suicide: Is police culture killing our officers? CRC Press.

Racial and Ethnic Groups (see also African Americans; Latinos/Latinas)  

Leong, F. T. L., & Leach, M. M. (Eds.) 2008. Suicide among racial and ethnic minority groups: Theory, research, and practice. Routledge.  

Religious Settings

Mason, K. (2014). Preventing suicide: A handbook for pastors, chaplains, and pastoral counselors. Intervarsity Press.

Schools

Capuzzi, D. (2009). Suicide prevention in the schools: Guidelines for middle and high school settings. American Counseling Association. 

Erbacher, T. A., Singer, J. B., & Poland, S. (2014). Suicide in schools: A practitioner’s guide to multi-level prevention, assessment, intervention, and postvention. Routledge.

Juhnke, G. A., Granello, D. H., & Granello, P. F. (2010). Suicide, self-injury, and violence in the schools: Assessment, prevention, and intervention strategies. John Wiley & Sons.

Miller, D. N. (2011). Child and adolescent suicidal behavior: School-based prevention, assessment, and intervention. Guilford Press.

Rogers, A. M., & O’Brien, K. (2021). Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. Jossey-Bass.

Veterans (see Military above)

If You are Suicidal: Self-Help Books and Memoirs

There are many self-help books for suicidal people and memoirs by people who survived suicidal ideation or a suicide attempt. Below are just a few. If you have more to recommend, please leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Self-Help

Blauner, S. R. (2002). How I stayed alive when my brain was trying to kill me. Harper Collins.

Bornstein, K. (2011). Hello cruel world: 101 alternatives to suicide for teens, freaks, and other outlaws. Seven Stories Press.

Ellis, T. E., & Newman, C. F. (1996). Choosing to live: How to defeat suicide through cognitive therapy. New Harbinger.

Gordon, K. H. (2021). The suicidal thoughts workbook: CBT skills to reduce emotional pain, increase hope, and prevent suicide. New Harbinger.

Quinnett, P. G. (2012). Suicide: The forever decision. Available for free download at http://qprinstitute.com/uploads/Forever_Decision.pdf.

Memoirs

Breel, K. (2015). Boy meets depression: Life sucks and then you live. Harmony Books.

Haig, M. (2015). Reasons to stay alive. Penguin Books.

Hines, K. (2013). Cracked, not broken: Surviving and thriving after a suicide attempt. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Jamison, K. R. (1997). An unquiet mind: A memoir of moods and madness. Vintage Books.

Lezine, D., & Brent, D. (2008). Eight stories up: An adolescent chooses hope over suicide. Oxford University Press.

Miller, C. (2012). This is how it feels: A memoir: Attempting suicide and finding life. CreateSpace Independent Publishing.

McDaniels, D. (2016). Ten ways not to commit suicide: A memoir. HarperCollins.

Styron, W. (1992). Darkness visible: A memoir of madness. Random House

Wise, T. L. (2012). Waking up: Climbing through the darkness. The Missing Peace, LLC.

After a Suicide

Many books address what comes after suicide. I have divided these books into two categories: 1) Counseling someone after the suicide of a loved one, and 2) Self-help books and memoirs for people who have experienced the suicide of someone they love.

The list below is by no means a comprehensive list. To find more, a search for “suicide survivor” on Amazon will yield hundreds of results. (“Suicide survivor” commonly refers to people who have survived the loss of a loved one. As I explain on my site Speaking of Suicide, I prefer the term “suicide loss survivor,” to differentiate those who have lost someone to suicide vs. someone who has survived a suicide attempt or suicidal crisis.)

Counseling the Suicide Loss Survivor

General

Jordan, J. R., & McIntosh, J. L. (2010). Grief after suicide: Understanding the consequences and caring for survivors. New York: Routledge.

Linn-Gust, M., & Peters, J. (2010). A winding road: A handbook for those supporting the suicide bereaved. Chellehead Works.

Children

Cammarata, D. T. (2009). Someone I love died by suicide: A story for child survivors and those who care for them. Limitless Press.

Montgomery, S. S., & Coale, S. M. (2015). Supporting children after a suicide loss: A guide for parents and caregivers. CreateSpace Independent Publishing.

Requarth, M. (2006). After a parent’s suicide: Helping children heal. Healing Hearts Press.

Rubel, B. (2009). But I didn’t say goodbye: Helping children and families after suicide. Griefwork Center.

Memoir and Self-Help

Auerbach, S. (2017). I’ll write your name on every beach: A mother’s quest for comfort, courage, and clarity after suicide loss. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Cobain, B., & Larch, J. (2005). Dying to be free: A healing guide for families after a suicide. Hazelden Publishing.

Fine, C. (1999). No time to say goodbye: Surviving the suicide of a loved one. Harmony. 

Henry, W. J. (2016). Suicide: How to cope when someone you love has taken their own life. Christian Faith Publishing.

Hsu, A. Y. (2017). Grieving a suicide: A loved one’s search for comfort, answers, and hope. Intervarsity Press.

Jordan, J. (2016). After suicide loss: Coping with your grief. Caring People Press.

Linn-Gust, M. (2001). Do they have bad days in heaven? Surviving the suicide loss of a sibling. Chellehead Works.

Lukas, C. (2007). Silent grief: Living in the wake of suicide. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Mitchell, E. (2009). Beyond tears: Living after losing a child. St. Martin’s Griffin.

Myers, M. F., & Fine, C. (2006). Touched by suicide: Hope and healing after loss. Avery.

Wickersham, J. (2009). The suicide index: Putting my father’s death in order. Mariner Books.

Wolfet, A. D. (2009). Understanding your suicide grief: Ten essential touchstones for finding hope and healing your heart. Companion Press.

Updated: August 22, 2021

If you have a book title you’d like for me to add to the list, please send me a comment using the form below. Thanks!