suicide

Children and teenagers have gone months without their school routines, and without regularly seeing friends, extended family and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For some, this isolation has produced depression and anxiety, made worse by seeing their own parents or guardians go through their own frustrations.

Raising Awareness About Suicide Prevention

Sep 16, 2020

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and more than 48,000 people in the country died by suicide in 2018.

Many people are isolated because of the coronavirus, and researchers have found that depression and suicidal thoughts are on the rise. Since September is National Suicide Prevention Month, experts want to get the word out that help is available.

This is World Suicide Prevention Day - a day to remember those lost to suicide and raise awareness of resources available to Floridians who may need support.

Teen and youth anxiety and depression are getting worse since COVID lockdowns began in March, early studies suggest, and many experts say they fear a corresponding increase in youth suicide.

At the end of June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed Americans on their mental health. They found symptoms of anxiety and depression were up sharply across the board between March and June, compared with the same time the previous year. And young people seemed to be the hardest-hit of any group.

Engin Akyurt / Unsplash

Discussions about exempting medical students and medical residents from disclosing past mental health treatment on their Florida licensure applications have been put on hold.

The Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine have canceled a Sept. 11 meeting on “health history questions.”

Nearly a quarter of people in the United States are experiencing symptoms of depression, according to a study published Wednesday. That's nearly three times the number before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

And those with a lower income, smaller savings and people severely affected by the pandemic — either through a job loss, for example, or by the death of a loved one — are more likely to be bearing the burden of these symptoms.

This broadcast originally aired on May 29, 2020.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay has seen an increase from a couple of hundred calls a day to sometimes thousands because of the coronavirus.

They started tracking the calls that come in through 2-1-1 on Feb. 29.

A student health survey released by Duval County Public Schools finds an alarming rise in the number of students who have attempted or considered suicide.

Members of the state's Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council say the pandemic will likely increase how many people will die this year. The group is drafting recommendations to help people in crisis.

Theirs was supposed to be the kind of family people dream of having; a father, mother, son and daughter living in domestic harmony. Instead it became a nightmare.

Mental health is on the minds of Florida lawmakers. Proposals tackling suicide prevention, psychosis treatment, and insurance are pending before the legislature.

For the first time since 2014, death rates in the U.S. declined and life expectancy showed a modest uptick, according to new data released in two reports Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Life expectancy at birth in 2018 was 78.7 years, 0.1 year longer than the previous year.

It has been five years, but the memory still haunts construction superintendent Michelle Brown.

A co-worker ended his workday by giving away his personal cache of hand tools to his colleagues. It was a generous but odd gesture; no one intending to return to work would do such a thing.

The man went home and killed himself. He was found shortly afterward by co-workers who belatedly realized the significance of his gifts.

"It's a huge sign, but we didn't know that then," Brown says. "We know it now."

This story is part of StoryCorps' Road to Resilience project, which leverages the power of storytelling to help children cope with the death of a parent, sibling or loved one.

Sylvia Grosvold was 5 years old when her mother died by suicide.

Now 16, Sylvia recently sat down with her father, Josh Weiner, 52, at StoryCorps. They talked about the day Sylvia's mother, Kari Grosvold, died and the years that followed.

The City of Jacksonville is joining with four other Northeast Florida counties to try to safeguard military veterans against suicide.

Federal statistics show at least 20 veterans are killing themselves every day, which is what drove the creation of a program called Fire Watch.

Airmen at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa are taking a break from their normal duties Friday. Instead, they will reflect on mental health.

A TSA agent checks identification at Orlando Internantional Airport.
ISAAC BABCOCK / WMFE

TSA agent Robert Henry jumped to his death inside the Orlando International Airport in February. Afterward, agents came forward to say Henry was bullied at work and that Transportation Security Administration has a toxic work environment.

Dr. Julie Rickard thought her visit to Wisconsin over the Christmas holiday would bring a break from her day job working in suicide prevention in Wenatchee, Wash.

The visit didn't go as planned. After a tense fight broke out between her mother and another family member, everyone dispersed. Rickard readied herself for the trip back to the Pacific Northwest.

At the airport, she received a call from her mother, Sheri Adler. This was not out of the ordinary — Adler, like many adoring mothers, always calls her daughter after parting ways.

Lethal Plans: When Seniors Turn To Suicide In Long-Term Care

Apr 10, 2019
“It’s sad he was feeling in such a desperate place in the end,” says Lorie Juno of her father, Larry Anders.
DARREN HAUCK / Kaiser Health News

When Larry Anders moved into the Bay at Burlington nursing home in late 2017, he wasn’t supposed to be there long. At 77, the stoic Wisconsin machinist had just endured the death of his wife of 51 years and a grim new diagnosis: throat cancer, stage 4. 

Mental health has been a frequent topic at the Capitol following more tragic news from Parkland. Two students who survived last year's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre took their own lives last month. 

The Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald bureau reports that while the Legislature allocated $69 million for student mental health after the tragedy, almost none of it went to suicide prevention. But some lawmakers have begun to study prevention programs.

Rep. Ray Rodrigues (R-Estero) chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee. He's troubled by a recent report of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. In mid-February as his panel heard a presentation on suicide, he pointed to data showing Americans' life expectancy had dropped for the third year in a row.

DeSantis, State Leaders Put Focus On Mental Health

Mar 29, 2019

Coming after the grim news that two survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre committed suicide this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis held an hour-long “listening” session Thursday on mental-health issues. 

After two suicides by first responders this week, Hillsborough county residents are pushing lawmakers to focus on mental health this upcoming session.

Monroe County already had one of the highest suicide rates in the state of Florida.

Then came Hurricane Irma. And although most of the debris has been removed from land - and lots of repairs are underway — the storm continues to impact the Keys, almost a year later.

With suicide a growing concern, the University of Florida is touting the designation of its Mood Disorders Program as a center for excellence by the National Network of Depression Centers.

The deaths of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain have caused media organizations to look at how they cover suicide and whether more could be done to prevent copycat killings, without neglecting the duty to report news.

Wikimedia Commons

Florida’s suicide rate increased 10.6 percent from 1999 to 2016, though most states saw larger increases, according to a new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Wikimedia Commons

In 2016, then-Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said the district needed to expand student mental health services and advocate for more mental health funding. Students had anonymously self-reported more depression and suicide-related behaviors compared to their peers across the state.

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