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Suicide is a difficult topic for discussion and the NZ media have for a long-time followed strict guidelines in keeping reporting to a minimum. That is starting to change as we seek to deal with this country’s high suicide rate. Suicide ripples through families and friendships and our speakers bring their own expertise and experience to this conversation.

American writer David Vann based his first book on his own father’s suicide. Legend of a Suicide was initially rejected by literary agents and Vann spent a decade working at sea before the book was published in 20 languages and won 10 prizes. He has gone on to write such powerful novels as Caribou Mountain and Aquarium. Jesse Bering is an American writer and psychologist who is investigating patterns of suicides and motivations driving people to take their own lives. He also teaches science communication at Otago University. NZ researcher Suzi Wereta has been interviewing whanau in Dunedin about their attitudes to suicide – for her doctoral thesis Talking about It.

If you would like to talk to someone about the issues raised in this session then please call one of the following helplines
Tautoko Suicide crisis support line 0508 828 865
Lifeline 0800 543 354
Youthline 0800 37 66 33