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Susan Rose Blauner, MSW

Susan Rose Blauner, MSW, is a writer, artist, mental health activist, and national public speaker who is changing the way people think about brain disease and suicidal behavior. Blauner is the 2003 recipient of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Survivor of the Year Award for Distinguished Creativity in Suicide Prevention, and the author of How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person’s Guide to Suicide Prevention. Blauner’s suicidal ideation began following the premature death of her mother and led to multiple attempts and psychiatric hospitalizations in her twenties.

After forty years of therapy, thirty years of Twelve Step Recovery, deep spiritual exploration, and dogged determination, Blauner now lives a life she loves. She has a bachelor’s degree in fine art and a master’s degree in social work, earned at the age of fifty. Blauner is a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at forty-three. She is writing her next book, How I Gave Birth to My Mother: A Memoir and Guide to Creative Grieving with Words, Pictures, Mementos, and Art and lives in Western Massachusetts with her dog, Fiona. Blauner is grateful for life and the ability to live well with depression, PTSD, and a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder – which took fifteen years to relinquish. For more information, visit