Understanding Suicide: A National Epidemic

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Product Details

Twenty-First Century Books (Tm)
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.1 X 0.4 inches | 0.9 pounds
Library Binding
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About the Author

Connie Goldsmith is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a master of public administration degree in health care. She has written numerous books for YA readers and nearly two hundred magazine articles. Her recent books include Kiyo Sato: From a WWII Japanese Internment Camp to a Life of Service (2020), a Junior Library Guild selection; Running on Empty: Sleeplessness in American Teens (2021); Understanding Coronaviruses: SARS, MERS, and the COVID-19 Pandemic (2021); and Bombs Over Bikini: The World's First Nuclear Disaster (2014), a Junior Library Guild selection, a Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, an Association of Children's Librarians of Northern California Distinguished Book, and an SCBWI Crystal Kite Winner. She lives in Sacramento, California. Visit her website at http: //www.conniegoldsmith.com/.


"This examination of a difficult topic pairs an informative, somber text with an appropriately subdued look. In six concise chapters, Goldsmith explores what may cause a person to take his or her own life, and the effects a suicide can have on those left behind. There is thorough examination of age groups: separate chapters are devoted to children and teens, military and military vets, and adults and seniors. In addition to taking a detour into the sometimes confusing world of physician-assisted suicide, Goldsmith offers both coping techniques for those who have experienced a suicide in the family, and warning signs and treatments that can and have saved lives. Particularly helpful is a list that dispels common misconceptions. Illustrations, understandably, are few and far between; demographic charts, statistics, and quotes from people who have lost a loved one or who have survived an attempt themselves provide a powerful alternative. The text is careful to stay blame- and judgment-free, making it a particularly successful resource."--Booklist


"Facts counteract stigma and ignorance in this guide. Seemingly designed for adults and teenagers to read together, this work offers up dozens of facts and stories about the difficult-to-discuss topic of suicide. Goldsmith efficiently ushers readers through the facts. More than 41,000 Americans take their lives every year, and many more attempt suicide. Teenage girls attempt suicide nearly twice as often as boys, yet teenage boys are four times more likely to actually die due to the different methods used for their attempts. While there are multiple risk factors for suicide, such as depression and/or substance abuse, stressors such as isolation or bullying, and access to lethal means, there are also multiple options to help anyone contemplating suicide: counseling, medication, long-term treatment, and support from family and friends. These options can help anyone suffering from suicidal thoughts, whether teenager, adult, or veteran. While naturally not a page-turner, this work does present an array of important facts and figures, made intimate with personal stories of people who have attempted suicide or been affected by suicide. Frequent boxed inserts provide tangential material without distracting from the overall flow. The inclusion of quotes from several authors for teens is a welcome touch. An effective, compassionate guide to a subject that needs one."--Kirkus Reviews


"Suicide is an epidemic--the United States loses 41,000 and the world loses 800,000 lives to suicide each year. For each of those deaths, there are more failed suicide attempts; those with suicidal thoughts; and families, friends, and communities impacted by the devastation of this epidemic. Goldsmith presents many different scenarios that impact people's lives and could increase a person's chance of considering suicide: mental illness, depression, abusive relationships, and substance abuse, to name a few. She also devotes chapters to unique groups of people such as teens, those serving in the military and veterans, and adults and ends with information on successful interventions and treatments for those who had once considered suicide. Information provided in sidebars includes such topics as suicide and religion, tips on how to handle bullying, myths vs. facts, and definitions. Although the content of this book covers a great deal, it is still organized in an approachable format. Six concise chapters also include sidebars, bold headings, photos with captions, and graphs providing additional information on topics, as well as breaking information into relevant sections. The content and format of this book could be used as reference during research or for teens seeking information for themselves or others. Goldsmith writes for children and incorporates quotes and information from a few well-known young adult authors, such as Chris Crutcher. This book is recommended as an updated resource for adolescent collections."--VOYA


"Forty-one thousand Americans commit suicide each year. For every suicide there are 25 unsuccessful attempts and countless numbers of people who struggle with suicidal thoughts. Goldsmith, a nurse and health-care expert, investigates this epidemic, beginning with the emotional fallout that individuals who have experienced the loss of a loved one through suicide typically face. Subsequent chapters address risk factors for suicide such as poverty, mental illness, and substance abuse, as well as scientists' ongoing search to understand what chemical or physical factors contribute to depression. Particular demographics are covered, such as suicide in teens, the military, and the older adult population. Goldsmith includes information about the effectiveness of intervention and treatment options, as well as the complicated issue of physician-assisted suicide. Of particular interest to teens are the quotes and advice from influential YA authors. Chris Crutcher offers guidance in his capacity as a mental health specialist, Libba Bray speaks of living with depression, and e.E. Charlton-Trujillo warns of the potentially devastating consequences of bullying. Photographs, graphs, and text boxes add necessary visual appeal. The source notes, selected bibliography, and resources for further information are extensive. VERDICT: Edifying and thorough, this title will prove useful for students doing research or those interested in learning about this tragic phenomenon."--School Library Journal