Get Help Online and Off For Suicide

The LAST thing I want is to have anyone thinking Jon "had the answer." Suicide is not a solution to anything. He showed us "the right answer" when he did his advice column for Bop Magazine. This page is for you. If you need help and are thinking about suicide, PLEASE reach out and talk to someone, ANYONE about it before it's too late.


SAVE - Suicide Awareness Voices of Education - Prevention, Awareness and Support

American Foundation For Suicide Prevention

Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program

Suicide Prevention Action Network, USA

SPEAK - Suicide Prevention Awareness for Kids

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Danger Signs of Suicide

Risk Factors

** Past History of Attempted Suicide -- Between 20 and 50 percent of people who kill themselves had previously attempted suicide. Those who have made serious suicide attempts are at a much higher risk for actually taking their lives.
** Psychiatric Disorders
** Depression
** Schizophrenia
** Substance Abuse, particularly when combined with depression
** Personality Disorders, especially Borderline, Antisocial
** Genetic Predisposition
** Family history of suicide, depression, or other psychiatric illness.
** Neurotransmitters -- A clear relationship has been demonstrated between low concentrations of the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleactic acid (5-HIAA) in cerebrospinal fluid and an increased incidence of attempted and completed suicide in psychiatric patients.
** Impulsivity
** Impulsive individuals are more apt to act on suicidal impulses.

Sex: Males are three to five times more likely to commit suicide than females.
Age: Elderly Caucasian males have the highest suicide rates.

** Third leading cause of death for 15-19 aged youngsters.
** 300% increase over the last 30 years.
** Occurs most often in April and May or in late fall and early winter.
** Adolescents who attempt suicide tend to be female by the ratio of 4 to 1. 90% of these youngsters try to kill themselves by ingesting drugs.
** Completers tend to be male by a ratio of 3 to 1. Two-thirds of these youngsters kill themselves with a gun.
** 19 adolescents each day, 5000-7000 young people each year end their own lives. As many as 5 times that number make less "successful" attempts at suicide.
** 80% of suicide attempters communicate their intentions verbally prior to their attempt. 20% communicate the notion that they are at risk through their behavior.
** Depression is a common antecedent to suicide.
** Drug overdose or poisoning is the leading cause of attempters.
** Firearms and explosives are the most common causes of death followed by hanging and poisoning.

** Saturday and Monday have been common days for suicidal acts to occur.
** There is a low percentage (5%) of suicides attributed to mental illness.
** For males and females, the motive is more likely to be tied up with interpersonal relationships and performance issues, such as pressure to succeed.
** Alaska and Nevada have the highest documented suicide rate. The highest increasing area is the southern states.
** 9 out of 10 attempts of suicide take place in the home.
** Single, white adolescents are more at risk.
** Most suicidal adolescents look to their friends for help.
** 2 out of every 3 suicides involve chemical use.

Suicide Crisis
A suicide crisis is a time limited occurrence signaling immediate danger of suicide. Suicide risk, be contrast, is a broader term that includes the above factors such as age and sex, psychiatric diagnosis, past suicide attempts, and traits like impulsivity.

The signs of crisis are:
** Precipitating Event -- A recent event that is particularly distressing such as loss of loved one or career failure. Sometimes the individuals own behavior precipitates the event: for example, a man’s abusive behavior while drinking causes his wife to leave him.
** Intense Affective State in Addition to Depression -- Desperation ( anguish plus urgency regarding need for relief), rage, anxiety, guilt, hopelessness, acute sense of abandonment.
** Changes in Behavior
** Speech suggesting the individual is close to suicide. Such speech may be indirect. Be alert to such statements as, “My family would be better off without me.” Sometimes those contemplating suicide talk as if they are saying goodbye or going away.
** Actions ranging from buying a gun to suddenly putting one’s affairs in order.
** Deterioration in functioning at work or socially, increasing use of alcohol, other self-destructive behavior, loss of control, rage explosions.

Recognizing Depression
All of the danger signs are magnified in importance if the patient is depressed. Although most depressed people are notsuicidal, most suicidal people are depressed. Serious depression can be manifested in obvious sadness, but often it is rather expressed as a loss of pleasure or withdrawal from activities that had been enjoyable.

Depression is present if at least five of the following symptoms have been present nearly every day for at least two weeks:

** depressed mood
** change in appetite or weight
** change in sleeping patterns
** speaking and/or moving with unusual speed or slowness
** loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
** decrease in sexual drive
** fatigue or loss of energy
** feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach or guilt
** diminished ability to think or concentrate, slowed thinking or indecisiveness
** thoughts of death, suicide, or wishes to be dead

Suicide can be prevented. While some suicides occur without any outward warning, most do not. The most effective way to prevent suicide among loved ones is to learn how to recognize the signs of someone at risk, take those signs seriously and know how to respond to them. The emotional crises that usually precede suicide are most often both recognizable and treatable.

Common Misconceptions

The following are common misconceptions about Suicide:

"People who talk about suicide won't really do it."

Not True -- Almost everyone who commits or attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like "you'll be sorry when I'm dead," "I can't see any way out," -- no matter how casually or jokingly said may indicate serious suicidal feelings.

"Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy."

Not True -- Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They must be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing, but extreme distress and emotional pain are not necessarily signs of mental illness.

"If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop him/her."

Not True -- Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, wavering until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.

"People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help."

Not True -- Studies of suicide victims have shown that more then half had sought medical help within six month before their deaths.

"Talking about suicide may give someone the idea."

Not True -- You don't give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true -- bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.