Connecting Suicide Prevention Day with 9-11

By LWS:

Yesterday was Suicide Prevention Day. Today we remember 9-11.  How are they connected?

 

Image by smarnad / FreeDigitalphotos.net

God loves people of all cultures and races and hates to see broken hearts as a result of suicide. [Image: smarnad / FreeDigitalphotos.net]

Here at our site Thinking About Suicide, we have many stories from people who have survived and thrived after initially considering suicide. We focus on how a life given over to Jesus Christ can turn in a whole new direction to find hope where hope was previously lacking.

We also have had articles focusing on various causes of suicide: chronic depression, mental illness, and physical, chemical and nutritional imbalances. (See our Categories.) In those articles, we often try to direct people to medical help as well as faith for suicide prevention. We hope many who struggle were able to see our articles on Suicide Prevention Day.

However, one cause of suicide we’ve never discussed is suicide with the goal of taking one’s life in addition to taking the lives of others. Suicide-murder has been known to happen in domestic violence cases. However, 9-11 is a good example of that kind of tragedy on a much larger scale.

In domestic violence, murder-suicide is a mistaken solution often used to regain a sense of control–especially if the partner has attempted to leave. Tragically, this solution often prevents the present and eternal hope that could have been found through Christ.  Such a tragedy will leave brokenhearted family members behind, as well as eliminate any chance for the abuser or the victim to have the opportunity to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ in order to find a fresh start or a new life.

Terrorism is also related to control and punishment, but those who commit suicide with these ideas in mind often have a misguided belief that such actions please God. But the God of Abraham is one of love, one of forgiveness. Acts of terrorism also leave brokenhearted family members behind on both sides — all people who God loves and hurts for.

To help bridge the gap between God and man, God sent a Savior—His own son.  In order to discover how to live in God’s love, visit GodTest.com.

In honor of Suicide Prevention Day, please pause and pray for all family members who have lost someone from the tragedy of suicide. We also urge you to explore our articles under Suicide Prevention.

The Crime of Suicide Baiting

by Laurie:

A recent site visitor told us her heartbreaking, horrifying story: her son was a victim of suicide baiting.

Be the one who would shout "Stop! There is hope for you! God loves you!" ?

You can, instead, be the one who shouts: “Stop! There is hope for you! God loves you!”

Debra DeAngelo from the iPinion Syndicate summarizes this well in her post, What have we become when suicide becomes entertainment?:

Can there be anything more soul-shredding than your child committing suicide? Yes: discovering that his/her death provided entertainment for a cheering crowd.

Who does that? Who goads a person into killing him or herself? I never thought about that much before. Neither did Kathie Yount of Harrisburg, Missouri. Until she called her son Dylan one random day and a strange voice answered. He identified himself as a medical examiner, and told Kathie that an unidentified man’s body was on the sidewalk six floors below her son’s apartment window at Hallidie Plaza in San Francisco.

Kathie’s own article describes her loss and the horror of the situation in her own post: “Suicide baiting — they cheered while my son jumped,”, writing:

“He died, dehumanized and in despair, in front of 1,000 people who mostly stood watching while others taunted him, provoking his death.”,

This could be compared to the Bystander Effect, a term that came about due to the Kitty Genovese murder case.

Yet Bystander Effect has more to do with apathy than with participation in a crime. Suicide baiting behavior falls more into the area of bullying, as opposed to apathy. It’s taunting and bullying someone to take their own life. This can also be in the form of cyberbullying, as in the case of Megan Meier who took her life after being bullied by an adult posing as a teen on the Internet. (See our related post: How to Stop Cyberbullying.)

An even better word for suicide baiting is sin. Evil personified. It doesn’t matter how many in a crowd are chanting “Jump!” Every one of us must be that person who offers healing and hope, not jeering or apathy. And this happens when we realize that each and every person–including yourself– is unique, created by God for a purpose, and loved by Him.

Every individual has the moral reponsibility to speak life — not death — into the life of others. 

Kathie Yount now feels compelled to prevent similar occurences by increasing public awareness of the crime of suicide baiting, and is pushing for changes in legislation to make suicide baiting a felony. You can visit Kathie’s Facebook page: Support Suicide Baiting Prevention Awareness.

To learn more about God through a relationship through Jesus Christ, visit our sister site: GodTest.com. Not only can He provide healing for your own hurts, but forgiveness if you have in the past caused others pain without considering the consequences.

If you have ever participated in or watched and not stopped a sucide baiting and feel guilt over that, do repent of that and ask forgiveness. Please do not consider this an excuse to take your own life. God can lead you to a new life of encouraging and helping others, possibly even saving the lives of others. You can also help stop the crime of suicide baiting by joining Kathie Yount in her efforts.

Yes, There is an Anti-Bullying Day

by N. J. Lindquist:

Today is Anti-bullying Day in Canada. It’s also known as Pink Shirt Day.

 

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pink Shirt Day started with an anti-bullying stand taken by two Grade 12 students in Nova Scotia about six years ago. They witnessed a Grade 9 student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school and rallied other students to wear pink as a message against bullying.

Two of my sons were bullied for very different reasons when they were roughly 12-13. As a parent, I felt angry and determined to stop it, while also a bit helpless – no one can live in another person’s shoes. Nor can you be with your child all the time.

Our sons survived and weren’t injured by their experiences, but I wonder if there were other kids who ran into the same bullies, and the bullies themselves – are they still bullies as adults?

Far too many of the people who commit suicide or attempt to do so have been bullied. The death of Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old from B.C. who committed suicide in October after posting a video detailing how she was bullied both in person and over the internet, brought attention to the newest for of bullying, cyber-bullying. But bullying has been around for a long time.

For more information on Pink Shirt Day and what you can do about bullying, read this article.

You can also read here on our site:

Bullying Prevention Tips for Parents and Kids

Stop Bullies with Self-Confidence and God’s Help!

How to Stop Cyberbullying

Cyberbullied: Handling Mean Texts and Online Posts

Copycat Suicide

By N.J. Lindquist:

Please don’t allow the suicide of someone you admire or care about to lead you to choose a copycat suicide.

 

Image from Wikipedia of Mindy McCready

Image from Wikipedia

When I read last week about the death of country singer, Mindy McCready, I can’t say I was surprised. I knew that her current boyfriend (the father of her 10-month-old son) had died only a few weeks earlier, and that his death was being looked on as a probable suicide. I have to admit that when I first heard of his death, I had a feeling in my gut that hers would be next.

As a fan of country music, I’ve long been aware of Mindy, and really enjoyed some of her songs, especially “Guys Do It All the Time.” But I was also aware of the roller-coaster life she’s led, including her upbringing and connection to a Pentecostal church; her graduation from high school at age 16; her move to Nashville to pursue her dream; and her relationship with married baseball pitcher, Roger Clemons (when she was 18 and possibly younger).

I was also aware of her parents’ divorces and remarriages; her various relationships with men; her two children, her battle with addictions and her earlier attempts at suicide. It almost seemed as if an early death would be the inevitable conclusion.

I feel so sorry for Mindy and her family, and in particular for her two young sons. But my greatest concern is that no one else will copy what she did.

I remember years ago meeting with a teenager I’ll call Debbie who had been cutting herself regularly for a long time, but had recently made several attempts to commit suicide. As we talked about Debbie’s life and her frustrations, she began to cry and whispered the name of a male singer who had recently died from what was being called suicide. Apparently Debbie was a huge fan, to that point that she idolized him, and she was feeling the need to follow him, even in this.

The fact that Debbie’s attempts at suicide hadn’t been successful told me that she probably didn’t really want to kill herself. But that doesn’t mean she couldn’t have succeeded. She was fortunate that her mother had been in the house each time and found her before it was too late.

As I believe was the case with Mindy, there were things in Debbie’s past that made her hate herself and her life—things that were at the root of the cutting and the spiral her life was in—things she couldn’t just push into a dark corner of her mind and ignore. But at this point, the impetus for her suicide attempts wasn’t as much about her personal issues as it was about the very real fact that her idol had done it.

The idea of killing yourself may not come from a celebrity; it might be because a partner or friend does it, as in Mindy’s case; or a family member.

If you’re thinking about committing suicide because someone else has done it, consider this: Your life is too important to become a footnote to someone else’s life.

What you can do:

  • Don’t keep your dark thoughts to yourself. Find someone you can talk to about how you’re feeling and why you feel a strong connection to the person who has died.
  • Look for positive things you could do to help the person’s family and friends deal with the pain suicide leaves behind.
  • Make a list of things you could do to help preserve the memory of the person who has committed suicide so that others will remember the good times and not just focus on the circumstances of the death.
  • If you continue having suicidal thoughts, see a doctor or a counselor and tell them exactly what is troubling you.

 

World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10, 2012

By Dianne E. Butts:

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) is “dedicated to preventing suicidal behavior, alleviating its effects, and providing a forum for academians, mental health professionals, crisis workers, volunteers and suicide survivors.” The IASP offers a variety of events throughout the year, including World Suicide Prevention Day, which is September 10, 2012.

World Suicide Prevention Day is held on September 10th every year, with a unique theme for each year. This year’s theme is “Suicide Prevention Across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope.” Previous themes include “Preventing Suicide in Multicultural Societies” and “Many Faces, Many Places: Suicide Prevention Across the World.” September 10th, 2012, marks the 10th anniversary of the World Suicide Prevention Day.

The IASP says its research shows evidence that “we can prevent suicide.” In the past “education campaigns have focused on the role of risk factors in the development of suicidal behavior. In order to increase effectiveness in preventing suicide we propose to direct our efforts not only towards reducing risk factors but also toward strengthening protective factors,” the site says.

Factors considered protective against suicidal behaviors include the ability to cope and adjust to adverse life events, a sense of personal worth and confidence, problem-solving skills, and help-seeking behaviors. Social and cultural factors include religious and social integration, connectedness, good relationships with friends, colleagues and neighbors, access to support, and ready access to health care. Healthy lifestyles and abstinence from illicit drug use is associated with reduced risk of suicidal behavior.

The World Suicide Prevention Day web site has a wealth of downloadable information, including:

World Suicide Prevention Day 2012 has its own Facebook Page.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention was founded by the late Professor Erwin Ringel and Dr. Norman Farberow in 1960. The organization includes professionals and volunteers from more than fifty different countries. It is a nongovernmental organization in official relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Take a few moments to stop by the site today or make professionals in your area aware of the resources available at the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Working together we can help prevent suicide. Check out the resources and see how you might support World Suicide Prevention Day, which is September 10, 2012.

Here is a short video from one group who got involved in World Suicide Prevention Day 2011:

Also cClick here to see a playlist of 7 short videos from a variety of people involved in World Suicide Prevention Day 2011.

Sexual Abuse from a Trusted Coach (Olympian Kayla Harrison)

By Dianne E. Butts:

Kayla Harrison, on having been sexually abused by her former coach and overcoming suicidal thoughts.

 

 

Image from Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Kayla Harrison started judo at six years old when her mother, Jeannie Yazell, a black belt, introduced her to the sport. She showed promise, winning two national titles before her 15th birthday. But behind the scenes, she was being sexually manipulated and abused by her judo coach, and that sexual abuse led Olympian Kayla Harrison to think about suicide.

The abuse started when Kayla was 13.

An article in the New York Times online, “For Judo Champion, a Painful Path to Gold” by Campbell Robertson revealed that “sexual contact led to sexual intercourse over a period of years, on trips to Venezuela, Russia and Estonia, until she was 16.”

In an article in The Telegraph (www.Telegraph.co.uk) titled “London 2012 Olympics: US Judoka Kayla Harrison overcomes horror of sexual abuse to aim for gold,” by Ian Chadband, Kayla said:

“When I was young, he would say, ‘We have to keep this between us or we will get into trouble’ and, honestly, as I got older, I was pretty brainwashed. I knew it was wrong but I thought I loved him. And I thought he loved me.’”

After three years, Kayla confided in her friend Aaron, who told her mother. Jeannie Yazell then “smashed out the coach’s car windows with a baseball bat” according to the NY Times article.

After Kayla exposed her coach as an abuser, she confronted him in court. Daniel Doyle was sentenced to ten years in prison and banned from the sport.

“I couldn’t look in the mirror and had no self-esteem. Now I can’t imagine not speaking up against that. It’s so wrong and I don’t want others to have to suffer what I did,” Kayla told The Telegraph. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned through all this is that you’re only a victim if you allow yourself to be. And though it feels like hell and it feels like it will never end, it will. But you have to have the courage to say ‘I won’t play victim’.”

Going for the gold in the Olympics kept her going. Her mother teamed her up with coach Jimmy Pedro, who helped her overcome the trauma of abuse and make the Olympic team. Her mother told the NY Times, “‘We just felt like she just had to get back to what she knew how to do… She could have control over what went on on the mat.’”

On August 2, 2102, Kayla won the first gold medal in judo for the United States.

But that’s not all. Kayla is now engaged to Aaron Handy, the friend she turned to for help. He’s a firefighter now. After the Olympics Kayla may return home to take the E.M.T. test and continue the process of becoming a firefighter herself.

Sexual abuse led Olympian Kayla Harrison to think about suicide. But she overcame abuse and suicidal thoughts to become a Gold Medal Olympian with a future filled with love, marriage, and a meaningful career. You can overcome your circumstances too, and have a future filled with hope.

 

Junior Seau: What Caused HisThinking About Suicide?

By Dianne E. Butts:


Photo from Wikipedia, Used by Permission. Photographer: David Sizer

I’m a football fan. So I, like many others, was shocked and saddened on May 2, 2012, when news came that Junior Seau was dead. He shot himself in the chest with a .357-caliber Magnum revolver, according to USAToday.com. Like so many others, I wonder what was Junior Seau thinking, when he was thinking about suicide?

A month after Junior Seau’s death, writers David Leon Moore and Erik Brady, writing for USA TODAY, wrote the article “Junior Seau’s final days plagued by sleepless nights.” Throughout the article you can almost hear everyone, including Junior’s 11-year-old son, Hunter, asking “Why?”

There’s the talk of the possible head injuries that have become such a topic of discussion for sports enthusiasts. Is that the reason?

There’s the talk of the use of Ambien, the sleep aid. The article reports, “The FDA-approved prescribing information for Ambien warns that suicidal thoughts or actions have been reported by depressed patients using this class of drugs. The information also instructs users not to take it if they drink, which friends say Seau did, and also if they cannot get a full night’s sleep while taking it.”

Junior Seau lived in a $3.2 million beachfront house. As a former NFL superstar, he seemed to have all the resources he needed. He had been married, but was divorced. He has three children. In the days before taking his life, Junior Seau celebrated a friend’s 50th birthday and spent time with his girlfriend Megan Noderer.

It was Megan who found him that terrible morning and frantically called 911.

Junior left so much pain behind. He left us with so many questions.

If you’re having thoughts about suicide, I’m asking you right now to seek out some help. Call a friend. Call 911. Call a suicide hotline. Call someone in your family. Please don’t just leave a note. Or leave nothing.

Below is a video where you can see the extreme pain of Junior Seau’s mother as she begs God to take her instead of her son. Look at her pain. Please don’t do this to the people who love you.

Don’t leave everyone who loves you wondering why. It’s not fair to leave everyone who loved Junior Seau wondering what he was thinking about suicide and why he carried that out.

This is a heartbreaking video of Junior Seau’s mom. Whose heart would you break if you took your own life?

If you are the one left behind by a loved one who has chosen suicide, see our articles for survivors. You can also click here to read this free online book (PDF format):  SOS: A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide, by Jeffrey Jackson at suicidology.org.

The Aurora Theater Shooting: Healing from Trauma

Surviving and Healing from the Aurora Theater Shooting; Prayer for the Grieving and Traumatized

 

Used by Permission; Wikipedia, Creator: Algr

Our love and prayers are with the people of Aurora, Colorado and those who lost friends and family members in the theater shooting this week.  We also extend our prayers to the first responders and emergency personnel, as well as all who are grieving in the aftermath of this senseless tragedy.

You are not alone.

First, consider that 10 percent of all Americans have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder created by exposure to a traumatic mental or physical event.  What this really means is that countless people, who have also suffered loss and trauma, have not only healed, but have gone on to live a life of a new normal. So can you.

Consider this: whether you were  in the theater, lost a loved one, helped the injured, or just witnessed the tragedy unfold on the media, you are surrounded by a great company of those who share your pain. So if you are hurting, you do not need to suffer in silence.  Talk about it.  People will understand and listen.  If they don’t, find other people who will.

Thirdly, although it may not seem like it, God is with you, just as he was with those who lost their lives.  In times like these, many people feel angry at God, and even turn their backs on him, saying,
“If God is good, why would he allow this to happen in the first place.”
 Let me answer that question and then I’d like to lead you in a prayer that will help you start to recover.

Know that God did not author this shooting.  But consider that if you walk away from him, you are giving the shooter the power to separate you from God.  Do not let this same evil that inspired this man, inspire you to turn your back on God –for God is the great healer and He wants to help you with your emotional pain.

If you are ready to seek God’s help, pray this prayer:

Dear Lord,
I give you my wounded, broken heart, please restore it with life, and eventually even joy.

(Now, put your hand on your heart and pray the following:)

I canceled the assignment of the spirit of trauma that would hold me captive, and I speak God’s peace, life, and hope into my very soul in it’s place.  I also cancel the assignment of the spirit of suicide that would attempt to make me another casualty of this terrible evil.  I choose to be a victor in God’s love, and ask that God ignite my spirit with life, purpose, and love.   I pray this in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus.
Amen.
If you want to know more about moving into a closer relationship with God, go to:
www.GodTest.com.

Watch my interview with Joan Hunter as she leads viewers into breaking the bonds of trauma.

Landmarks Attract the Suicidal

 By Karen O’Connor:

Niagara Falls and other landmarks attract the suicidal.

In the USA Today article Landmarks have fatal attraction to the suicidal Natalie DeBlasio reported that Niagara Falls (New York) and the Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco) among other landmarks attract the suicidal.

Officials in cities and towns across the United States want to find ways to deter these attempts. But as Niagara Parks Police Sgt. Chris Gallagher said, “Whenever you have a natural wonder, there is only so much you can do to set up a safety feature.”

Canadian and American parks, however, have signs posted, video surveillance, and retaining walls. There are also crisis-counseling signs on Golden Gate Bridge that read: “There is hope. Make the call,” and “The consequences of jumping from this bridge are fatal and tragic.” Recently two separate attempts at Niagara Falls resulted in one fatality and the other in rescue and hospitalization.

“We stop about 80% of the people who come to the Bridge to hurt themselves,” said Mary Currie, public affairs directly for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.

It seems those who believe their lives are hopeless are often relieved to know someone cares—and there always is someone, even if that person is a stranger––who will reach out and give them a second chance.

Check out this excellent YouTube video from the History channel “History of Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge.”  Be sure to watch it clear through to the end, which describes the sad impact on Coast Guard rescuers who must retrieve victims when landmarks attract the suicidal. Also pay close attention to the research done on people who had been rescued from jumping: most instead of finding other ways to end their lives went on to live productive lives.

If you currently feel suicidal, read our other articles on this site about how much that would hurts others in your life, and stories from people who once felt as desperate as you who lived on, ultimately experienced joy, and positively impacted the lives of others. (Survivors) Also, to  find out about how much God loves you and wants you to live, visit GodTest.com.

Turn Your Life Around After a Suicide Attempt like Drew Carey

Linda Evans Shepherd

If you’ve ever wondered if you can turn your life around after a suicide attempt, consider successful comedian Drew Carey.  Drew was a young man who faced many difficulties, including his father’s death from a brain tumor when he was only eight-years-old.  A few years later, while in college, Drew attempted suicide.

But despite his struggles, and even despite the fact he dropped out of Kent State due to poor academic performance, he discovered that you can turn your life around after a suicide attempt.

Since then, Drew got help and changed his attitude to a more positive approach. That helped him develop a successful career in comedy and also helped him as the host of “Price is Right.”

Turn Your Life  Around After a Suicide Attempt

Watch Drew tell his story in the YouTube below:

You may want to reference the short online document: Suicide, Taking Care of Yourself After an Attempt by NAMI. (Click HERE.)

 

In a crisis, contact:

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

A 24-hour, toll-free crisis hotline funded by the federal government that will direct callers to a nearby crisis center. The Lifeline will accept calls from non-English speakers.

www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

For more information about suicide and mental illness: American Association of Suicidology, a resource and education organization dedicated to the understanding and prevention of suicide.

www.suicidology.org or call 202-237-2280

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Dedicated to advancing the public’s knowledge of suicide and its prevention.

www.afsp.org or call 1-888-333-AFSP