chapter  13
14 Pages

Survivor Wisdom: News of a Difference

Postvention can be viewed as prevention for the next decade and the next generation. (Shneidman, 1973, p. 41) Every story is a story about death. But perhaps, if we are lucky, our story about death is also a story about love. (Humphreys, 2002, p. 50) Grief is love, I suppose. Love as a backward glance. (Humphreys, 2002, p. 50)

David Satcher is one of my heroes. He is probably a hero to many people. There’s that tall, handsome, deep-voiced man-in-a-uniform thing, and that, after an already distinguished career, he became the sixteenth surgeon general of the United States. Then as surgeon general-one of the most powerful public health figures in the worldhe said that suicide was a public health problem, and that he would fight it using public health resources. The U.S. National Suicide Prevention Strategy, and the direction and resources that go with it, are direct outcomes of his call to action. These are all good reasons to consider someone heroic. But David Satcher is a hero to me for another reason: because of how he listened.