Stopping Suicide


It’s the anniversary of the day that Robin Williams committed suicide so it seems like a good time to talk about this a little, it’s also less than a month from the day my brother took his life eleven years ago.  With a new baby at home I’ve been thinking a lot about my brother, he was thirty five when he died and now I am seven years older than he will ever be.  I’ve been through a divorce, I’ve had two daughters, and I’ve found someone to share my life with and some small degree of happiness.  Through the process of grieving and helping others to cope I found my best friend for life and together, well mostly her actually, we started this site.  Several of the most momentous and life changing events have happened to me in these last eleven years and specifically in the last seven years.  My first daughter was born, my second daughter was born, I went through a divorce, Steve Jobs enslaved mankind with his iPhone, Pizza Hut came out with a hot dog crust pizza, and many more exciting and dramatic things have happened, I just can’t think of them all at the moment.  Granted a hot dog crust pizza may not be the most life altering thing to have hit humanity, but it’s given me a lot of pleasure to see the looks on peoples faces when I tell them about it I can tell you that much.  They seem torn between wanting to try it and genuine despair for humanity.

My point is this.  The world has changed in a mere eleven years, and he missed it, all of it.  He missed the good and the bad, the absurd and the amusing.  He will always be thirty five and he’ll never have a chance to eat a hot dog crust pizza or at least make fun of it.

So lets talk about suicide.  The CDC compiles the information about it and the latest data is from 2013, you can peruse it yourself at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention here’s a quick overview.

Suicide is overwhelmingly committed by males.  78% of all suicides are male, and while females are three times more likely than males to attempt suicide they account for less than a quarter of actual suicides, that’s pretty staggering facts.  Just let that sink in a bit.  Just by being male you are four times more likely than a female to commit suicide, and if you are a white male in America you account for 70% of all suicides.

Age and location is also a big factor, the highest rates of suicide are grouped between 45 and 64 (the highest) and 85 and up (second highest).  Montana has the highest suicide rate of any state at 23.7 per 100,000 and the District of Columbia the lowest at 5.8 per 100,000.

There is even data on how people commit suicide, in the U.S. firearms account for the majority of suicides at 51.5% which is 27 percentage points higher than the next method which is suffocation.  In countries where firearms are inconveniently not available suffocation takes their place such as in the UK.

My point is this.  It doesn’t matter.  All the facts and the figures, all the prevention methods, all of it, meaningless.  This isn’t a popular stance I know, but it’s realistic.  We cannot prevent most suicides by talking to people.  Anyone that can be talked out of suicide most likely wasn’t going to do it in the first place.  Typically suicide is not a spontaneous action.  For the most part it is very well planned out and executed.  There is always exceptions to the rules, but that’s exactly what they are, exceptions.  Suicide is not going to be cured by talking.  Suicides will be eliminated when we figure out how to cure the underlying cause, not the result.  The result is suicide, the cause is mental illness.  Cure one and the other goes away.

In the meantime lets concentrate on working with people who have been effected by a suicide and helping promote mental health.  We can effect change in these areas.  I’m not saying we should get rid of suicide hotlines and support because there are people out there that still need them.  What I’m saying is lets concentrate on being effective and curing the root of the problem.

That’s just my two cents.

Brad.

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My Angel


I wake up in the morning
And I look up to the sky
I wonder why he took you
before I said good-bye 

I look up to the stars at night
And know you’re looking down
I’d like to think you’re proud of me
But I’m just stumbling round

I crawl in bed and close my eyes
And realize that you’re gone
Then comes the fears and then the tears
And life just seems so wrong

I glance up at the heavens
And I know you’re flying by
My Angel’s watching over me
I’m happy as I cry

Hold On, Pain Ends

Twitter Helps Homeless NYC Man Find Daughter After 11 Years (via CBS New York)


Twitter Helps Homeless NYC Man Find Daughter After 11 Years NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A homeless man, who hadn’t seen his daughter in over a decade, reunited with her Friday in Bryant Park after tracking her down through Twitter. It was all smiles and hugs for Daniel Morales, 58, and his daughter Sarah Rivera as they saw each other for the first time in 11 years. “I feel rejoiced,” Morales said. Daniel Morales tells 1010 WINS‘ Kathleen Maloney that everything is possible[audio http://cbsnewyork.fRead More

via CBS New York

Happy New Year


Hello friends. What a journey we’ve been on. I want to personally thank you from the bottom of my heart for being part of this process. I started this organization, selfishly, more for me, than for anyone else. But, you all made it grow into something more-a family, a support group, a place to share feelings. . . a comfort zone. None of this would have been possible if it were not through the support and encouragement of all of you.

Thank you, once again, for becoming part of my family. These memories of our experiences, our stories and our journeys will forever be cherished. Here’s to a new year of health and happiness for all of us. ~Nora Lamarti

Depression is in the PAST for former New York Jets player Ray Lucas


New York Jets logo

Image via Wikipedia

“Ray Lucas no longer wants to jump off the George Washington Bridge.”~ Michael O’Keeffe

Former Jets quarterback, Ray Lucas, used to stay in bed on a regular basis, isolating himself from the world due to his injuries on the field, which ultimately  resulted  in neck surgery on September 15th. Since then,  Lucas has claimed to feel incredible relief from  severe depression and anxiety, which previously caused him to  isolate  from family and loved ones.

PAST (Retired Athletes Medical Resources Group), an organization which  has provided more than $1.7 million in pro bono surgeries for NFL retirees in the past year, resourced the necessary neck surgery for Lucas, resulting in a dramatic loss of pain. Although the pain from his injuries, including symptoms such as crippling sciatica and muscle spasms have  not completely disappeared, Lucas claims that the surgery provided to him have literally saved his life.

“I still have bad days but nothing compared to what it was,” Lucas says. “My wife says PAST saved our family. I used to think about driving the car off the George Washington Bridge. Now I have hope.”

This story has a happy ending, as Ray Lucas is scheduled to host as the master of ceremonies for PAST’s fundraising event dedicated to Vince Lombardi on October, 28th. Joining him will be an  impressive array of stars including,  Darrelle Revis,  Don Maynard, Harry Carson, Charles Smith, Cal Ramsey,  Tony Sirico and Vincent Pastore.

“Many of the retired players who have received assistance through PAST say fan emails and Facebook posts were crucial to their recovery. To thank the fans for their support, PAST is offering free tickets to Thursday’s private performance of “Lombardi” to the first 50 people who register at PASTUSA.com

For further information on PAST’s Lombardi Night NYC, or to purchase tickets and VIP packages, go to the website or call 800-791-6324.”

The Buddha: A documentary


Enjoy this PBS program directed by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin on the life of the Buddha: The Buddha
Narrated by Richard Gere, “The Buddha,” reflects on the life, the journey and the teachings by the Buddha. Discussions include spirituality, meditation, compassion and how to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives.

To buy a copy, visit shopPBS.org or click here: The Buddha DVD

Free Times: Art Review – Multimedia Exhibition Explores Mental Health, Illness


Multimedia Exhibition Explores Mental Health

“Our society has certain preconceptions about mental illness, what it looks like and what it means, to the extent that we begin to see those who suffer from it as being not only different from us, but also less than human. The main purpose of Michael Nye’s photography and audio documentary project, Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness, is to dispel that myth — to literally give the issue a human face, in this case nearly 40 of them.”

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