suicide

To Lower Suicide Rates, Connecting With Men Is Key

Apr 12, 2016

Dr. Rich Mahogany's therapy office would fit well in a hunting lodge: dark wood desk, dark-paneled walls with a moose head, a dartboard, old books, old lamps. He looks just like Ron Swanson on the TV series "Parks and Recreation."

This story was produced by WHYY's The Pulse

"Did you know that men have feelings too?" he asks on his YouTube channel. "Not just the hippies, all of us. Hello, I'm Dr. Rich Mahogany, welcome to Man Therapy."

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed landmark legislation Monday, allowing terminally ill patients to obtain lethal medication to end their lives when and where they choose.

In a deeply personal note, Brown said he read opposition materials carefully, but in the end was left to reflect on what he would want in the face of his own death.

FSU Expands Suicide Prevention Efforts

Sep 25, 2015

Florida State University is expanding its suicide prevention program, with a $306,000 dollar grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The program aims to enable the entire campus community to identify and intervene with students in distress.

  Florida's rural counties are seeing suicide rates for youth almost double that of the state's large cities. And experts say isolation, poverty, access to firearms and a lack of mental health resources are to blame.

When Deciding To Live Means Avoiding Guns

Sep 24, 2015

When you're managing a mental health issue, home's not always a safe place.

I recently talked with a 23-year-old in Oakland, Calif., who says he's worried about an upcoming visit to his aunt's home on the East Coast. He's afraid of what he might do to himself there.

"I know that in my aunt's house there are three guns in the basement," says the young man, who asked that NPR not use his name.

Advocates Encourage Suicide Talk

Sep 10, 2015

In an office decorated with signs proclaiming “Safe Space,” Peggy Saddler meets with students overwhelmed by classes, fighting with friends and family or struggling with deeper problems.

The Wauchula High School guidance counselor has worked with students in rural counties for more than 30 years and said sometimes students are “shutting the door every night (with) a little bit more than teenage angst.”

  The Florida Keys has a national reputation for being laid back and carefree — margaritaville.

But Monroe County, which encompasses the island chain, has the state's highest suicide rate.

Justices To Weigh Doctor's Care Before Patient Suicide

Aug 17, 2015
Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments next month in a medical-malpractice dispute that focuses on whether a family physician provided adequate care before a patient committed suicide.

The court released a schedule Thursday that said arguments in the Sarasota County case will be heard Sept. 2. The case stems from the October 2008 death of Jacqueline Granicz, who was a patient of family physician Joseph Chirillo and had been treated for depression.

Seeking Solutions for Veteran Suicide

Oct 28, 2014

Veteran suicide is a real and present problem in the community. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that on average 22 veterans die by suicide every day.

That’s a straightforward statistic for a very complex problem.

Calling it a growing and troublesome trend, U.S. Representative Kathy Castor of Tampa organized a roundtable to discuss what is being done in the Tampa Bay area to prevent veteran suicide.

A mentally ill inmate’s death nearly two years ago has raised serious questions in how mentally ill prisoners are treated in the Dade Correctional Institution.  Darren Rainey, 50, was allegedly locked in a shower with scalding water turned on for more than an hour, according to the Miami Herald.

About 25 percent of people who commit suicide in Florida are military veterans, even though they account for just 8 percent of the population, the Florida Times-Union reports.
The deputy director of suicide prevention at the VA says they’re still trying to figure out why the rate is so much higher than in other states.

A desk clerk at a St. Petersburg senior housing facility mistook a dead resident for a mannequin, thinking it was part of an April Fools’ Day prank, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Authorities say the 96-year-old resident jumped 16 stories to her death. The body was moved to the dumpster, and it wasn’t until later in the day that other workers found the body and realized the mistake.  

SARASOTA — Sarasota police say the husband of former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris was found dead of an apparent suicide at the couple's home.

Police spokeswoman Genevieve Judge said Tuesday that Harris' husband, 68-year-old Anders Ebbeson, committed suicide.

Officers were called to the home between 7:30 and 8 a.m. Tuesday.

During a news conference at the police station, Pastor William Hild of Sarasota First Baptist Church confirmed that Ebbeson had taken his own life.

A new study of Central Florida children’s health found that more than 8% of Orange County high-schoolers said they had attempted suicide. 

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The Polk County Sheriff's Office is investigating the role of cyberbulling in the suicide of a 12-year-old girl, the Lakeland Ledger reports.

At his blog Our Health Policy Matters, health consultant Paul Gionfriddo writes that public officials often use suicide data as a proxy for the seriousness of mental health problems. But those rates really don’t give a good picture, he argues, since there are people who have mental illness who don’t commit suicide, or don't succeed.

A man who killed his wife before turning the gun on himself may have been driven by paranoia after he stopped taking his medication for mental illness, the Tampa Bay Times reports. According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, a few weeks before the murder-suicide, Michael Jones reportedly told his son he had scheduled a mental health evaluation.

A Tampa woman tried to kill herself and her 12-year-old daughter by setting fire to her car in their garage after being beaten by her ex-husband, the Tampa Tribune reports. Neighbors rescued them.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says the mother and daughter described the episode as a suicide pact. Both were sent to hospitals for psychiatric examination.  
 

It may be time to change the benchmark for discussion of public health problems in the U.S.

For quite a while, the annual number of fatalities from auto accidents has been a kind of shorthand for health issues that are big and important.

Starting in 2009, though, suicides surpassed deaths from crashes. In 2010, there were about 38,000 suicides compared with about 35,000 deaths from motor vehicle crashes.

A 30-year-old man living in a dormitory at the University of Central Florida apparently planned to kill other students by sounding the fire alarm, then shooting them when they went outside. But when police responded quickly to a 911 call from one of his roommates, the Orlando Sentinel reports, James Oliver Seevakumaran turned the gun on himself. 

For one 44-year-old woman, the pain that dozens of doctors couldn’t help soothe got so bad she asked her boyfriend to help end her life. Studies suggest her suicidal thoughts are not uncommon.

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