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New guidebook stresses 'Art of Safe Storytelling'

by Cassidy Kendall The Sentinel-Record | July 23, 2019 at 4:00 a.m.

Susie Reynolds Reece, the founder and executive director of Suicide Prevention Allies, has authored a new guidebook on how to share a personal story of overcoming difficulty while weaving safeguards into the message.

"Art of Safe Storytelling," released earlier this month, was specifically developed for people involved in the fields of public health, social justice, suicide prevention, and violence prevention, social entrepreneurs and survivors, according to a news release.

This instructional workbook is a tool to assist in the development of a personal story. It is intended for anyone, Reece said, but is ideal for someone speaking about issues like attempted suicide, child abuse or substance abuse.

"It is meant to be something they can work through at their own pace," she said. " ... I wanted to give some guidance and tips to be like 'Hey, really sit down and think about this before you start doing this type of work.'"

Reece said using recommended language when it comes to sharing graphic content is essential, since it can be a trigger for listeners, as it tends to bring up memories and old emotions.

According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, these stories of hope and recovery have the power to help others through a crisis and dispel stigma and myths about suicide, and the decision to share one's lived experience of suicide should not be taken lightly.

"I've been doing suicide prevention for the past eight years and (safe storytelling) is something I haven't found a lot of content on, but have noticed a lot of (need for). ... I thought, 'I can totally develop this (workbook), based on things I've experienced in my own journey," she said. "It was just a matter of seeing ... someone tells a difficult story and they get emotional ... So I just thought it would be relevant."

According to, Reece is a published author, national public speaker and violence prevention strategist and consultant. She is most sought after for her expertise in the area of suicide prevention. She is skillfully adept at blending the realms of science and research with experiences and storytelling in order to engage and compel any person to be equipped to take educated stands for social issues.

In addition to "Art of Safe Storytelling," Reece has also just released "7 Tips for Safe Storytelling: Quick Tips for Speakers and Presenters Looking for Direction to Safely Share Difficult Stories." It is available for purchase in a Kindle edition on Amazon.

"Art of Safe Storytelling" is available for purchase on Amazon, or can be purchased through Reece directly by contacting her at [email protected] It is currently available in paperback, but a Kindle edition is coming soon.

Local on 07/23/2019

Print Headline: New guidebook stresses 'Art of Safe Storytelling'


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