Franklin James Cook

SPNAC’s 1st Anniversary Marked by Pause for Reflection

In SPNAC Stuff on October 31, 2009 at 11:05 am
Walkers View Quilt

Three walkers view the Black Hills Area Survivors of Suicide support group's Lifekeeper Quilt at the AFSP-Black Hills Out of the Darkness Walk at Fort Meade, S.D., on Oct. 17. (Jenny Sand Photography/Used with permission)

By Franklin Cook, SPNAC Editor

There have been no fresh posts on SPNAC between mid-September and today, for which I apologize.

My workload has been too heavy for me to keep up with some of the volunteer and entrepreneurial activities that I love, so maintaining the SPNAC blog had to be set aside for a brief time. In addition, for the past few months, I’ve been engaged during my time away from work in personally reflecting upon the evolution of community suicide prevention and suicide grief support services in the United States during the decade I’ve been involved in the field, and wondering what the next decade might bring, both for me and for the suicide prevention movement.

The major tasks at hand for me recently have been (1) finishing up three years of work on the S.D. Suicide Awareness Partnership, a Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act-funded project (a few key elements of which I’ll still be working on through May 2010) and (2) serving as Walk Chairman for the AFSP-Black Hills Out of the Darkness Walk (itself a volunteer endeavor, but one to which I committed myself as if it were a part-time job).

The Suicide Awareness Partnership shifted from being a full-blown project to its current, transitional phase on Oct. 1, and the Black Hills Walk took place on Oct. 17, so I am hopeful that I now can return to composing regular posts for SPNAC, as well as periodically publishing the email newsletter.

The photo above is my favorite one from the Black Hills Walk (because it is a simple photograph that has many dimensions — the people pictured on the quilt, the walkers, the person pictured on their T-shirts, etc., and a personal dimension for me, in that my father’s quilt square is the one in the lower-left corner of the quilt). More pictures, which were taken by one of the walk sponsors, Jenny Sand Photography, can be seen here.

Another notable occurrence passed on Oct. 21, when SPNAC celebrated its one-year anniversary of publication. It was a quiet celebration, indeed, for even I hardly noticed it, but I thought it appropriate to mention it as a second year begins. To date, there have been 191 stories posted to the blog, which has had 29,000 page views. Here are the Top 10 most-visited SPNAC posts in its first year of publication:

  1. The Last Word on the Financial Crisis and Suicide Prevention at
  2. “Seven Pounds” Is Guilty of Irresponsibility with Suicide at
  3. About SPNAC at
  4. Edwin Shneidman’s Meditations on Death Are Full of Life at
  5. Youth Suicide among Native Americans Linked to Colonialism at
  6. Culture of Stigma Is a Key Cause of Military, Veteran Suicides at
  7. “Good Grief” Worker Preparing for National Survivors Day at
  8. Links to Suicide Grief Stories: May 4, 2009 at
  9. Links to Suicide Grief Stories: June 3, 2009 at
  10. 2,000 Walkers Light the Way at Out of the Darkness Overnight at

[The abridged URL for this post is .]

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