Health & Beauty | April 2006
|Prevent Suicide Now|
Sueanne Hagemann M.A. - PVNN
Yes, even in Paradise - or maybe it's 'especially in Paradise' - I am alarmed at the number of suicides I have become aware of recently in Puerto Vallarta.
As a therapist for over 20 years, I have been faced with many trouble individuals who were suicidal and have heard all the comments from others like "they just want attention," "if they elude to it, they won't do it," and "it's a short term answer to a long term problem." In the past 3 months I have been aware of 3 successful suicides and 2 serious attempts. It really struck me as a high number in a small population of Americans living in Puerto Vallarta. So I wanted to present a little information to the public on suicide.
A website called PreventSuicideNow.com recently came to my attention by chance. I almost sent it back into cyber-obscurity with a mouse click as it seemed unlikely to be of any interest.
My first thought was that a website dedicated to suicide must be macabre. However, a tour of the website revealed that a great deal of loving work had gone into its creation. The site's purpose is to prevent suicide and raise public awareness of the subject. In America alone over 31,000 lives ended in 2005 as a result of suicide. That is one suicide every sixteen and a half minutes. Trends show the suicide rate to be increasing.
There is a touching remembrance section on the site. The first memorial on the "wall of angels" is to a little girl aged 13 who was driven to suicide by school bullies. I could hardly bear to look at the photographs of the other beautiful, bright children who became "angels" in their teenage years. In the year 2002 in America a total of 4,010 people below the age of 24 committed suicide. That equates to 11 young lives destroyed each day. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the 15-24 age group.
Suicide is a subject which most of us would wish to avoid. We would rather not think about it, let alone discuss it. We are uncomfortable when dealing with people who have been bereaved through suicide and feel helpless when somebody we know is tormented by suicidal thoughts.
Our reluctance to contemplate the issue of suicide is understandable. It is painful and we don't want to be reminded of our own mortality, but we would be better equipped to deal with the issue if we were brave enough to face suicide and become familiar with its features. The ability to recognise the enemy would give us a better chance of knowing when help should be sought.
Please know the signs in a loved one or friend and pay attention. Sometimes it's the smallest act of love that can make the difference.
This is a link to a great website on suicide with information on helping others and what to do if you're feeling suicidal. Click HERE.