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Preventing Suicide: Suggested Resources and Contact Numbers

17 May

The new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, based on the novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, has a lot of people discussing teen suicide.  Suicide is an important topic since each year in the United States over 34,000 people die by suicide and over 860,000 people attempt suicide, which averages to a person attempting suicide every 38 seconds.  Too often the topic is viewed as taboo and people incorrectly believe that discussing suicide with a depressed person may put the idea in their head.  When I was in high school a classmate committed suicide; she was a sweet, funny, and smart girl whose loss was felt by many.  For this blog I wanted to give along with some books our library patrons can check out on the topic, some helpful phone numbers.

Remember, whether you yourself are in crisis or you are the family member or friend of someone who is, there is help out there and you don’t have to go through this alone.

NJ Hope Line 1-855-654-6735
New Jersey’s 24/7 Peer Support & Suicide Prevention Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Nacional de Prevencion del Suicidio 1-888-628-9454
Provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for yourself or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Here are some books available from BCCLS Libraries on the Topic of Suicide.

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Understanding Suicide: A National Epidemic, by Connie Goldsmith

Goldsmith examines causes of suicide and its impact on those whose loved ones committed suicide.  Understanding Suicide also looks at coping techniques and warning signs.

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Image via Amazon

Teen Suicide, by Judith Galas

In Teen Suicide, Galas looks at the rising issue of teen suicide, possible causes, and possible preventions.

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Teen Suicide, by Lorena Huddle and Jay Schleifer

The Teen Mental Health Series is written for teens in simple language to give them an overview of common mental health issues.  Teen Suicide looks at some of causes of suicide attempts, how to help someone that may be suicidal and places to look for assistance.

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Eight Stories Up: An Adolescent Chooses Hope Over Suicide, by DeQuincy A. Lezine, with David Brent

Eight Stories Up chronicles Lezine’s own struggles as well as providing expertise from psychiatric expert David Brent about the causes and treatment of suicide in young people.  Eight Stories Up is part of the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative series of books written for teenagers.

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Beyond Bullying: Breaking the Cycle of Shame, Bullying, and Violence, by Jonathan Fast

Beyond Bullying looks at causes of bullying.  Fast specifically looks at the harassment of LGBT teens that can lead to suicide, domestic abuse, and school shootings.  The author also makes suggestions for stemming the tide of bullying.

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Healing Suicidal Veterans: Recognizing, Supporting and Answering Their Pleas for Help, by Victor Montgomery

With a large number or returning veterans having symptoms of post-traumatic Stress Disorder, there has been an increase of suicides among the veterans returning from the Middle East.  Montgomery, himself a veteran, discusses in Healing Suicidal Veterans true stories of veterans’ experiences with mental health issues.  He also discusses warning signs and strategies for assistance.

Veterans in Crisis can call these numbers for help specifically for them:
Veterans Counseling Hotline CALL 1-866-VETS-NJ4 (1-866-838-7654)
Provides 24/7 peer support from Veterans who can relate, and case management – they follow up with you.

Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Veterans Press 1 or send a text message to 838255
Connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders.

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How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person’s Guide to Suicide Prevention, by Susan Rose Blauner

Blauner herself is the survivor of multiple suicide attempts and in How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me, she discusses her own experiences as well as coping mechanisms for those experiencing suicidal thoughts including support groups, journaling and creating a crisis plan.

For more information about services that can help for our local readers visit State of New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services: http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmhas/home/

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

It Came from the Interwebz: Books that Started Out as Online Phenomena

10 May

Since we are a blog about books, and I love all things meta, I thought it would be fun for this blog post to look at print books that started their life on the internet that I’m going to suggest online that you go read in print (though you can enjoy some of them in digital format too if you don’t want to leave your computer).

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente

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In Valente’s novel, Palimpsest, she had a character discuss a book they read as a child, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (at the time the book did not exist). Valente then began what would become Fairyland as a crowd-funded project and published the story online about a lonely young girl, whose father is off fighting and mother is busy working at a factory to help the war efforts, while she is lured to fairyland.  Although appropriate for middle graders, the story equally charms teens and adults with its wildly imaginative description of a fairy land which feels both fresh and modern and yet hearkens back to earlier fairy tales.  It reminded me of the magic and wit of the Oz books.  You will also want to check out others in the series including: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, and The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home.  You can borrow several of the books as digital audiobooks from Hoopla.  I had previously blogged about Valente’s fantastic adult novel Radiance in a previous post and dubbed it one of my favorite books of that year.

Welcome to Night Vale, by Fink Joseph

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If you are fans of podcasts you have probably at least heard of Night Vale which reached the top of the iTunes chart and well deserves its popularity.  In the small desert town of Night Vale odd things like floating cats and mysterious disappearances are recounted as ordinary daily events by the host of a local radio broadcast.  I love that podcasts like this one bring back the storytelling of radio dramas for a new age.  Just be forewarned the librarians in Night Vale aren’t the helpful, friendly staff you will find at HPL, but creatures to be feared.  Welcome to Night Vale expands on the events of the podcast.  You can also borrow Mostly Void, Partially Stars : Welcome to Night Vale episodes, Volume 1 and The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 2 which include material from the podcast as well as art, commentary, and a peek behind the scenes.  You can borrow eBook and digital audiobook copies from eLibraryNJ.

Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong, by Jen Yates

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The award winning blog Cake Wrecks started out when Jen Yates saw an unintentionally funny cake reading “Best Wishes Suzanne Under Neat that We Will Miss You.” She found other cakes that were misspelled (like my son’s fourth “birthay” cake), poorly (and therefore hilariously) iced, and just plain silly. Although the cakes are funny in and of themselves, it is Yates witty writings that brings back readers for more delicious helpings. Like the blog, the book includes pictures of cakes with her commentary (75% of which is not also featured on the blog). If you need to take a quick laugh break from holiday stress, checkout the sequel Wreck the Halls: Cake Wrecks Gets “Festive.”   You can borrow Wreck the Halls as an eBook on eLibraryNJ.

Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them, by Jillian Venters

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Jillian Venters took her popular Gothic Charm School site and transformed it into a Miss Manners guide for those who want to be both darkly spooky and polite.  It includes such practical information as what to wear on a job interview and how to handle disapproving family members.  My husband and I attended the book launch potluck tea party in Green-Wood Cemetery when it came out back in 2009.  Although obviously the years have passed and some reference may not be as au courant, there is still some solid timeless advice in the book for the alternative set.

John Dies at the End, by David Wong

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A recommendation from my husband, David Wong’s comic horror novel, John Dies at the End, began life as a free web serial by Cracked writer/editor David Wong (aka Jason Pargin). My husband was a fan of the humor site Cracked (which arose from the ashes of its print counterpart) and introduced me to it around the time of my son’s birth, a period where being up for what seemed at times like 24 hours made a good laugh a necessity.  Think of the novel as what would happen if the raunchy, clueless characters of Clerks or Harold and Kumar were living in HP Lovecraft’s Innsmouth. A sequel This Book Is Full of Spiders, was published in 2012. John Dies at the End was adapted into a 2013 movie which you can borrow from Hoopla. Scheduled to be released in October will be What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror.

Want more?  You can also read several previous posts were I discussed books that were birthed from blogs including:
Voracious
based on Cara Nicoletti’s blog Yummy Books
Molly on the Range for fans of Molly Yeh’s blog My Name is Yeh
Adulting How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps based on Kelly Williams Brown’s blog, Adulting
Bon Appétempt based on Amelia Morris’s blog Bon Appétempt
Eating Wildly arose from Ava Chin’s Urban Forager blog for the New York Times
My Berlin Kitchen comes from Luisa Weiss’s blog, The Wednesday Chef
Plus you can read about fanfiction inspired books and DVDs to checkout in a previous post. 

Have other picks for books that made the transition from the internet to print?  Share them in the comments!

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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