Everything We Knew About Suicide… Is Wrong

David W. Covington, Everything we knew about suicide was wrong, Recovery, Behavioral Health Version 3.0In “How to Train Your Dragon,” the citizens of Berk had observed, measured, categorized and chronicled dragons for decades. They thought they knew most everything there was to know about these violent beasts. But when Hiccup, a small, anything-but-Norse-like-warrior boy comes into contact with one of the most feared and misunderstood dragons, his eyes are opened wide. Putting aside his preconceived notion of dragons, he develops a loving friendship with “Toothless,” admitting, “Everything we know about you guys…is wrong.” Read more

Can Clinical Match the Power of Peer Supports?

David W. Covington, Clinical Versus Peer Supports, Recovery, Behavioral Health Version 3.0Generally, people ask the opposite question looking to researchers to examine the outcomes of peer supports and comparing them with established clinical best practices. Consider, though, the school shooting that was averted due to the actions of a peer. How would we clinicians have done in her shoes? Read more

Robin Williams & #Standupfor Cancer

David W. Covington, Recovery, Robin Williams, Stand Up For Cancer, Behavioral Health Version 3.0
Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

As national leaders in suicide prevention, we can say with all urgency that our field can learn a lot from the fight against cancer.

A bittersweet irony of Robin Williams’ death by suicide was the support he gave to the fight against cancer, which, like suicide, takes millions of lives. He was a strong backer of St. Jude’s Research Center and Stand Up to Cancer, and he visited patients and brought joy into lives that would be cut short as unfairly as his was.

We once whispered about cancer, but the movement to Read more

The Oxford Declaration: No One Should Die Alone and in Despair

David W. Covington, Zero Suicide, Recovery, Behavioral Health Version 3.0“We are at the beginning of this journey and we start out from the core value that no one of our patients should die alone and in despair by suicide.” This challenge, issued by Dutch psychiatrist Jan Mokkenstorm, became the shared declaration for the first international gathering of organizations committed to Zero Suicide in Health Care,  Read more

Why “Jumpers” is the Wrong Word

David W. Covington, Gap Park, Suicide as Choice, Recovery, Behavioral Health Version 3.0I just returned from a whistle-stop speaking tour in New Zealand and Australia. While it was only a brief week-long trip, I brought back so many amazing memories of the people and places. The most indelible by far was Gap Park, just five miles outside Sydney. The park sits atop cliffs that outline the coast for miles on the city’s eastern side. Read more

Historic Summit Celebrating Lived Experience (San Francisco)

National Action Alliance, David W. Covington, Suicide Prevention, Recovery,  Behavioral Health Version 3.0In “Silver Linings Playbook,” Pat Solitano talks about his friend Tiffany with his psychiatrist. He questions whether he, like Tiffany, can like “that [‘shameful’] part” of himself along with all the other parts.

“Can you?” Dr. Jones asks.

“You’re really asking me that question? What, with all my crazy sad[ness]… Are you [completely] nuts?” Pat says. Read more

Us & Them: Our Brothers in Law Enforcement

Crisis Intervention Team, CIT, Law Enforcement, David W. Covington, Recovery, Behavioral Health Version 3.0We had just exited the Urgent Psychiatric Center (UPC) when the radio announced an armed robbery in process at a convenience store just over a mile away. Nick and I jumped into his police cruiser and took off. My body slammed back into the seat from Nick’s swift acceleration and I barely noticed the scenery as my peripheral vision dropped away,  Read more