Middle-aged men need our help

The pastor at my church this past Sunday mentioned a very startling statistic in his sermon. White middle-class men are dying by suicide at an increasing rate.  The article in the NY Times also sited that “the mortality rate for whites 45 to 54 years old with no more than a high school education increased 134 deaths per 100.000 from 1999 to 2014. Dr. Deaton (who conducted the study) was looking at statistics on suicide and happiness, skeptical about whether states with a high happiness level have a low suicide rate. (They do not, he discovered; in fact, the opposite is true.) Why is this happening and what can we do to prevent this? I think it starts by telling the men in our life, especially our young boys, as they enter the teen years, that there is no shame in seeking help for depression and anxiety and to reassure them that as parents, we are there for them anytime they want to talk or choose to seek out a counselor to talk to. The 18-24 year-old age group is most at risk for suicide. This is the time when we are sending many kids off to college or they are going off to live on their own. It is important that you have had a talk with your children before sending them off to school and make sure they know where the college counseling center is on their campus. Take note of the men in your life and don’t be afraid to ask them how they are feeling. A great site to refer them to is mantherapy.org. Man Therapy...

Suicide Warning Signs

From AFSP People who kill themselves exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do. The more warning signs, the greater the risk.           Talk If a person talks about: ● Killing themselves. ● Having no reason to live. ● Being a burden to others. ● Feeling trapped. ● Unbearable pain.   Behavior A person’s suicide risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased, especially if it’s related to a painful event, loss, or change. ● Increased use of alcohol or drugs. ● Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means. ● Acting recklessly. ● Withdrawing from activities. ● Isolating from family and friends. ● Sleeping too much or too little. ● Visiting or calling people to say goodbye. ● Giving away prized possessions. ● Aggression.   Mood People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods. ● Depression. ● Loss of interest. ● Rage. ● Irritability. ● Humiliation. ●...

Helping After A Loss

● Find a therapist ● Join a support group ● Join a walk ● Start a journal ● Honor a loved one: ● Plant a tree ● Purchase a bench or plaque to memorialize loved one at favorite place ● Start a special memorial garden ● Cook special meal on holidays ● Make a special quilt ● Start a memorial...

Correspondent of the Day

Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 10:30 pm We can all help prevent suicide Editor, Times-Dispatch: I read with sadness and frustration about three suicides recently reported in the Metro section. The news stories — “Fort Lee soldier shoots self, dies,” “W&M student found dead in apparent suicide” and “Augusta couple’s deaths seen as murder-suicide” add to the dismal suicide rate in our state. As a survivor of a Virginia suicide, I am compelled to share some important facts as we embark on National Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 8-14. In Virginia, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death. On average, one person dies by suicide every 9 hours in the state. More than twice as many people die by suicide in Virginia than by homicide. What can you do about this and why should you care? Approximately 90 percent of individuals who die by suicide were living with a mental illness at the time of their death. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. When applied to the 2012 U.S Census residential population estimate for Virginia, this figure translates to 1.7 million Virginians 18 and older. These are our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. Mental illness does not discriminate by race, religion, gender or socio-economic status. We can stop the stigma attached to these chronic brain disorders and help our loved ones know that it is admirable and brave to seek help. Know the risk factors and warning signs for suicide and encourage your loved ones to call the National Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255) at any time — day or night....