When It is Darkest: New book by Rory O’Connor

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

New Book by Rory O’Connor

Publication date: 6th May 2021
Publisher: Vermilion
ISBN-10: 1785043439
ISBN-13: 978-1785043437
Order the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1785043439/

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.


From the Introduction:

“In this book, my aim is to get to the heart of this most tragic of human outcomes, challenging myths and misunderstandings. I also aim to illustrate the vulnerabilities in all of us, but crucially to show how these vulnerabilities can be catalysts to make us stronger. I will take you through the research evidence and the different ways in which we try to understand suicide, but importantly I will also provide a voice for those who are suicidal or who have been bereaved by suicide. I have deliberately steered away from adopting a textbook approach to writing this book. As suicide can affect anyone, I want it to be accessible to as wide a readership as possible.”

“If you have ever been suicidal, have lost someone to suicide or are supporting someone who is suicidal or self-harming, my biggest hope is that this book helps, in some small way, in making sense of your own pain or the pain of those who struggle or have lost the battle to live.”


To pre-order the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1785043439/

Some early praise for When It is Darkest

“How do we really understand suicide? How do we truly support those struggling with and affected by suicide? This book. Prof O’Connor gives us a rare and truly affecting gift of a book about the darkest edges of the mind –  skilfully combining the professional, the educational and the personal. If you want to truly get to the heart of ‘the big S question’, read this incredible book. I wept and I learnt.” 

Professor Tanya Byron, Clinical Psychologist, Author & Broadcaster

“When it is Darkest is 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. His message is clear: suicide is a problem which must be addressed not just by mental health specialists, but by everyone. This book shows us how.”

Dr Niall Boyce, Editor of Lancet Psychiatry

“I read ‘When it is Darkest’ 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. He debunks myths, challenges perceptions (including my own), and shares his profound understanding of the tragedy of suicide. Cutting edge research is described in an accessible and engaging way and is complemented wonderfully by the clinical stories throughout the book. There is also a wealth of practical advice on everything from asking about suicide, to supporting those who are suicidal, to drawing up safety plans to keep people safe. This is a really important book for those who are suffering with suicidal thoughts, those who have been bereaved by suicide, and the family, friends, and professional who want to help them”

Prof Nav Kapur Professor of Psychiatry and Population Health, University of Manchester, UK
%d bloggers like this: