The Listener: Jesse Bering on why suicide is a distinctly human behaviour

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Taboo-breaking writer and academic Jesse Bering takes his personal struggle with suicidal feelings as the starting point for a timely examination of the complex problem of self-harm

Chapter one of Jesse Bering’s A Very Human EndingHow Suicide Haunts Our Species finds the author in a very dark and, he argues, very human place. The scene is pleasant enough: the woods behind Bering’s former home in upstate New York. He is walking the dogs and considering an oak tree, “built by a century of sun and dampness and frost”. It seems to beckon. “It was the perfect place, I thought, to hang myself.”

Stuff NZ Article: The psychological secrets of suicide, and how to wait out dark nights of the soul

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American writer and research psychologist Jesse Bering was considering taking his own life before he was offered a job in New Zealand. Here, his desire to die has subsided, but the spectre of suicide still emits a "low hum" in his life. His new book explores why people decide to kill themselves, born from a need to understand his own psyche, and prompt those on the edge to think twice before stepping off. Britt Mann learned more.

Stuff NZ Article: The psychological secrets of suicide, and how to wait out dark nights of the soul

American writer and research psychologist Jesse Bering was considering taking his own life before he was offered a job in New Zealand. Here, his desire to die has subsided, but the spectre of suicide still emits a "low hum" in his life. His new book explores why people decide to kill themselves, born from a need to understand his own psyche, and prompt those on the edge to think twice before stepping off. Britt Mann learned more.

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