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Suicide

  • Katie Lewis, PhD, is a research psychologist at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Katie Lewis, PhD, research psychologist at the Austen Riggs Center, has received the competitive Young Investigator Innovation Grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) for her study: “Impact of Interpersonal Experiences on Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors.” Dr. Lewis’ study was one of fewer than ten chosen out of 175 applications. 

  • Austen Riggs Center’s Drs. Elizabeth Weinberg and Katie Lewis offer a clinical perspective on the portrayal of American teens in 13 Reasons Why Season 2.

    Season 2 features an unrelentingly grim teenage environment, in which every teenager is a perpetrator, a victim, or both–in which teens routinely contemplate suicide, engage in exploitative sexual relationships, and attempts to change for the better lead to disaster. While the many depictions of the difficulties that beset the teens in this series reflect issues commonly portrayed in the media, such as opiate addiction, gun violence, bullying, rape, and suicide, there remains a significant difficulty in that 13 Reasons Why seeks to inform teens and their families about these issues, yet persistently treats these issues in highly problematic ways.

  • Austen Riggs Center’s Drs. Elizabeth Weinberg and Katie Lewis offer a clinical perspective on the impact and consequences of 13 Reasons Why Season 2. 

  • In the recent movie Won’t You Be My Neighbor we see how Fred Rogers calmly and brilliantly engages young people in discussion about very difficult subjects, including death.

    In the recent movie Won’t You Be My Neighbor we see how Fred Rogers calmly and brilliantly engages young people in discussion about very difficult subjects, including death. Using his puppet characters, he addressed the assassination of Robert Kennedy and the Challenger explosion. 

  • The Austen Riggs Center is focusing some of our research efforts on the issue of suicide.

    Director of the Erikson Institute Dr. Jane G. Tillman and Research Psychologist Dr. Katie Lewis give an overview of the Suicide Research and Education Strategic Initiative at the Austen Riggs Center.

  • Dese’Rae L. Stage gave an interview on suicide prevention and her multi-media suicide survivor portrait and story project Live Through This.

    During a visit to the Austen Riggs Center earlier this year, Dese’Rae L. Stage, photographer, writer, and suicide prevention activist, spoke with us about suicide prevention and Live Through This, a multimedia-based storytelling series that aims to reduce prejudice and discrimination against suicide attempt survivors. 

  • Suicide Awareness Month

    Austen Riggs Center clinician and Director of the Erikson Institute, Dr. Jane G. Tillman, responds to the New York Times article “Suicide Survivor Guilt.”

  • Jane Tillman, PhD, ABPP

    Jane G. Tillman, PhD, ABPP, Evelyn Stefansson Nef Director of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research, has received a significant grant from the Fund for Psychoanalytic Research through the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) for her work, “Follow Up to States of Mind Preceding a Near Lethal Suicide Attempt Study.” In making this award, the review committee indicated that this was an important topic for study and may yield valuable information. 

  • 13 Reasons Why – A Clinical Perspective on Suicide Contagion

    While the show demonstrates the danger of contagion, the creators appear not to have considered how their particular approach to presenting the series may create similar vulnerabilities and danger in young viewers. Suicide is fundamentally an irrational act that occurs in a state of tremendous distress. When a suicide occurs, this increases feelings of pain and guilt, as well as making suicide feel more accessible. For this reason, showing Hannah’s suicide in such detail seems likely to be counterproductive.

  • 13 Reasons Why – A Clinical Perspective on Media Responsibility

    Although 13 Reasons Why is rated TV-MA in the US, the amount of publicity the show has received has served to draw in increasingly larger youthful audiences. For many adults, trying to stop younger children from watching 13 Reasons Why is like stopping a train after it’s left the station – the show is available on electronic devices, and parents who use parental controls at home can’t necessarily stop what happens with their children’s friends. Nonetheless, it’s important for youth and adults to note the MA-17 rating and treat it with respect. Most children under 17 should not watch this show, or should only watch it in the company of a trusted adult. Reading online reviews, it’s clear very young adolescents are watching 13 Reasons Why, and parents and educators should be aware of this.

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