With A Suicide, The Only Person Who Can Explain Is Gone. So Loved Ones Are Left With An Unanswerable ‘Why?’
USA Today examines the country's 10th leading cause of death in a series about suicide, mental health and the loved ones the trauma leaves behind.
Suicide: My Mom Took Her Life At The Grand Canyon – And I Wanted A Why
I stood and looked down into the canyon, at a spot where, millions of years ago, a river cut through. Everything about that view is impossible, a landscape that seems to defy both physics and description. It is a place that magnifies the questions in your mind and keeps the answers to itself. Visitors always ask how the canyon was formed. Rangers often give the same unsatisfying answer: Wind. Water. Time. It was April 26, 2016 – four years since my mother died. Four years to the day since she stood in this same spot and looked out at this same view. I still catch my breath here, and feel dizzy and need to remind myself to breathe in through my nose out through my mouth, slower, and again. I can say it out loud now: She killed herself. She jumped from the edge of the Grand Canyon. From the edge of the earth. (Trujillo, 11/28)
Suicide Prevention: Would More Funding, Less Stigma Save Lives?
Americans are more than twice as likely to die by their own hands, of their own will, than by someone else's. But while homicides spark vigils and protests, entering into headlines, presidential speeches and police budgets, suicides don't.Still shrouded in stigma, many suicides go unacknowledged save for the celebrities – Robin Williams, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain – punctuating the unrelenting rise in suicide deaths with a brief public outcry. Just since 1999, suicide rates have climbed nearly 30 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Godlasky and Dastagir, 11/28)
Native American Suicides: Coping With Trauma Saved This Woman's Life
With practiced precision, Shelby Rowe uses a small needle to lift each bead, stitching it into fabric, coaxing it to become something more. Her black hair fans across hunched shoulders. A silver tree of life hangs from her neck, tethering her to the past, anchoring her in the present. For Rowe, this Native American tradition isn’t just art. Beading is part of survival.“Beads are nothing but broken glass,” she says. “I spend hours of my time mending broken things. Making something beautiful out of something broken.” (Dastagir, 11/28)
Transgender Suicide: How This LGBT Person Copes With Suicidal Thoughts
When Shear Avory was a child, they'd look out the window and hope. For the bullying to stop. For conversion therapy to end. For Mom. Every morning, Avory would sit in bed and count down – three, two, one – before chanting, “Today I begin a new life. Today I am free. Today I start over.” A better day would take years to come. There would be new traumas and wounds from old ones that refused to heal. “I was constantly in a space of being unaccepted, unwelcomed and put down,” said Avory, who identifies as transgender and uses the personal identity pronouns they/them/theirs. “I think from those experiences, I've always held on to hope. … I had nothing else to rely on.” (Dastagir, 11/28)
Suicide Loss Survivors: How Survivors Can Cope, Loved Ones Can Help
Loss survivors – the close family and friends left behind after a suicide – number six to 32 for each death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meaning that in 2016 alone, as many as 1.44 million people unwillingly became part of this group. They are forced to cope with the loss of a loved one and navigate uncertain futures, often caring for confused children as they struggle to accept they may never know "why." (Dastagir, 11/28)
Health Experts Hope Dr. Rich Mahogany And ‘Man Therapy’ Can Reduce Suicide In Men
Tens of thousands of Americans die by suicide each year; it is a leading cause of death among working-age men in the U.S. In Colorado, 56 percent of men who die by suicide used a firearm. Between 2004 and 2017, more people died by suicide in El Paso County, a populated area that is home to multiple military bases and Colorado Springs, than in any other county in the state. Last year, 75 percent of those people were men. That’s why county health officials are trying to reach men before their crisis point through “Man Therapy.” The slightly crass, tongue-in-cheek public health program lives largely online, in the form of a slick website that aims to first draw in men with funny videos and witty graphics — and then offer them mental health resources. (Paterson, 11/28)