When It Is Darkest

When It Is Darkest : Why People Die by Suicide and What We Can Do to Prevent It

4.4 (220 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
4.4 (220 ratings by Goodreads)

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 7-12 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


Winner of the 2021 BPS Popular Science Book Award

'Read this incredible book. I wept and I learnt' - Prof Tanya Byron

'This book comes from the heart' - Roman Kemp

'Compassionate, personal and thought-provoking' - Prof Steve Peters

When you are faced with the unthinkable, this is the book you can turn to.

Suicide is baffling and devastating in equal measures, and it can affect any one of us: one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds. Yet despite the scale of the devastation, for family members and friends, suicide is still poorly understood.

Drawing on decades of work in the field of suicide prevention and research, and having been bereaved by suicide twice, Professor O'Connor is here to help. This book will untangle the complex reasons behind suicide and dispel any unhelpful myths. For those trying to help someone vulnerable, it will provide indispensable advice on communication, stressing the importance of listening to fears and anxieties without judgment. And for those who are struggling to get through the tragedy of suicide, it will help you find strength in the darkest of places.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 25mm | 346g
  • Vermilion
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • First edition
  • 1785043439
  • 9781785043437
  • 47,098

Table of contents

 Introduction 1

Part 1 Suicide: An Overview 15
   1 The How, Who and When of Suicide 17
   2 What Suicidal Pain Feels Like 35
   3 Myths and Misunderstandings 47

Part 2  Suicide Is More About Ending the Pain Than Wanting To Die 65
   4 Making Sense of a Suicide 67
   5 What Suicide is Not 79
   6  Towards An Integrated Understanding of Suicide 87
   7  The Integrated Motivational–Volitional  Model of Suicidal Behaviour 101
   8  Crossing the Precipice: From Thoughts  of Suicide to Suicidal Behaviour 141

Part 3  What Works to Keep People Who Are Suicidal Safe  185
   9 Brief Contact Interventions 187
  10 Safety Planning 193
  11 Longer-Term Interventions 213

Part 4  Supporting People Who Are Vulnerable to Suicide or Bereaved by Suicide 227
  12 Asking People About Suicide 229
  13 Supporting Those Who Are Suicidal 241
  14 Surviving the Aftermath of Suicide 259

Epilogue 275
Resources 277
Acknowledgements 285
Endnotes 289
Index 339
show more

Review Text

An essential read. Honest and unflinching, but always thoughtful and compassionate, Rory O'Connor brings light to a subject that has for too long been in the shadows.
show more

Review quote

Prof O'Connor gives us a rare and truly affecting gift ... If you want to truly get to the heart of 'the big S question', read this incredible book. I wept and I learnt. * Prof Tanya Byron * I was so impressed by the work that Rory does. If you want to really understand why people end their lives, please read this book. If you want to support a friend or someone in your family who is suicidal or who has lost a loved one to suicide, this is the book for you; it is full of helpful tips and brilliant advice. This book comes from the heart. * Roman Kemp * Rory is wise, unbelievably knowledgeable and an incredible force for good in such a complex area. He has changed my view so much on the way we should approach suicide and mental health healthcare, and he has also made me reconsider my own mental health and that of the people I love. * Dr Xand van Tulleken * An essential read. Honest and unflinching, but always thoughtful and compassionate, Rory O'Connor brings light to a subject that has for too long been in the shadows. * Dr Niall Boyce, Editor, Lancet Psychiatry * I read [it] in a single sitting. What makes it so compelling is its unique combination of research, clinical, and deeply personal perspectives on one of the great societal challenges of our time. Rory's enthusiasm to make things better and his utter dedication to suicide prevention shines through. * Nav Kapur, Professor of Psychiatry and Population Health, University of Manchester *
show more

About Rory O'Connor

Rory O'Connor is a Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Glasgow where he leads the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory. He is a world leader on suicide research and prevention and has been working in this area for 25 years. In January 2021, Rory became President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and he is also a past President of the International Academy of Suicide Research (IASR). He has published extensively in the field of suicide and self-harm and has contributed to six BBC documentaries on suicide, including Suicide and Me with the rapper Professor Green and Our Silent Emergency with Roman Kemp. You can find him on Twitter: @suicideresearch
show more

Rating details

4.4 out of 5 stars
- 220 ratings
5 53% (117)
4 37% (81)
3 7% (16)
2 3% (6)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X