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Rhiza Press blog is the place to keep up to date with all the goings-on in the world of Australian books for Adult and Young Adult readers.

Starting a Conversation Around the Suicide Contagion

Kate Gordon’s real-life inspired novel Girl Running, Boy Falling does not shy away from starting a conversation around teen suicide.

According to 2017 data, suicide is the leading underlying cause of deaths among young persons aged 15–24 (31 per cent of deaths).

However, a real-life taboo exists around this national tragedy in the fear that a suicide contagion will spread and glamorise the act for young people.

“We sweep the issue under the carpet, believing this will help to prevent more deaths. If teens can’t see it, they can’t copy it. Clearly, that approach is not working,” said Kate.

Sixteen-year-old Therese lives in a small town on a small island.

Therese has always had her feet on the ground. She’s running through high school, but someone in her life is about to fall ...

And when he does, her perfect world falls with him. For the first time in her life, Therese can’t stand being on the ground.

Do you ever look at the sky and think that’s where we belong? Like maybe the world is the wrong way around and we’re meant to be up there, floating?”

The characters of the novel are deeply personal to Kate as it is based off a childhood friend who took his own life and it became a way for her to deal with his passing.

“I wanted to show that there is hope. When we talk, when we reach out, when we seek help, it can and does get better. You will live, again, and it will be a beautiful thing,” says Kate.

Girl Running, Boy Falling is an intimate window into the things we hide but also the conversations we shouldn’t. You can pre-order your copy now here.

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