NEWS about Suicide

On this page we’ll be posting links to articles and information that will help our visitors gain a broader perspective of issues important to us. We will look across the wide spectrum of suicide research, adolescent brain development, and the diagnosis and treatment of depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses.


November, 2017


Florida Student Shoots Himself Outside of School as Teen Suicide Reaches New Heights

A central Florida High School student shot himself outside the school bus loop Tuesday marking the latest suicide at a time when suicide rates are climbing, experts say.

The teen posted on Snapchat “Rest in peace [expletive] all of you who contributed to this” before shooting himself at the Lake Minneola High School, Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. John Herrell told the Orlando Sentinel.

The shooting took place during a scheduled fire drill. But authorities said that it did not appear that anyone witnessed the shooting.

As word got out Tuesday, parents rushed to the school to try to pick up their children.

Experts say the high school student’s death is part of a larger trend. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in August that suicide rates for adolescent boys and girls have climbed since 2007, doubling for females between the ages of 15 and 19 and rising 30 percent for males. In total, 1,537 boys and 524 girls took their one life between 2007 and 2015 — numbers the CDC experts called substantial.

Newsweek, November 14, 2017


Rise in teen suicide, social media coincide; is there link?

An increase in suicide rates among U.S. teens occurred at the same time social media use surged and a new analysis suggests there may be a link.

Suicide rates for teens rose between 2010 and 2015 after they had declined for nearly two decades, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Why the rates went up isn’t known.

The study doesn’t answer the question, but it suggests that one factor could be rising social media use. Recent teen suicides have been blamed on cyberbullying, and social media posts depicting “perfect” lives may be taking a toll on teens’ mental health, researchers say.

ABC News, November 14, 2017


Author: Teenagers Turning Pages Of Stories On Suicide Rather Than DystopiaPop Culture Is ‘America’s Subconscious,’ Culture Writer Says

In the 2000s, dystopian fiction for teenagers was all the rage. Take, for example, the novels-turned film franchises “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent.”

But another type of story seems to be filling a niche within teenage popular culture previously held by that dystopian material, says Vox culture writer Constance Grady: the teen suicide story.

NPR, Wisconsin Public Radio, November 9, 2017


‘If you see something, say something.’ Newport-Mesa school district seminar teaches suicide warning signs

As part of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s new program to educate staff about student suicide prevention, parents were invited to a seminar Tuesday night at Corona del Mar High School to learn about what experts say is a rising crisis nationwide.

“We feel it won’t happen in our backyard, but it’s happening everywhere,” said Angela Castellanos, district coordinator of mental health and outreach services. “We’ve had incidents where our students have died by suicide, so we’re not isolated from the phenomenon.”

Los Angeles Times, November 8, 2017


Are Suicide Stories Replacing Dystopian Stories In Teen Fiction?

In the 2000s, dystopian stories like “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” were wildly popular in young adult fiction. But one culture writer says that might be changing, and that dystopian stories are being replaced by stories by of teen suicide in the young adult fiction genre. We find out why….

Wisconsin Public Radio, November 7, 2017 (12 minute interview)


Long Island Mother Blames Vicious Bullying for Teen Son’s Suicide

A Long Island mother says she never realized how bad her son was bullied by kids at school until it was too late.

Angie Collazo said her 17-year-old son Angelo, who suffers from scoliosis, took his own life last week and she blames vicious bullying throughout his life as the reason for his death.

“He was bullied so bad that he felt his only option was to end his own life,” Collazo said. “Children used to punch him, kick him. They tortured him. That’s exactly what these children did. They tortured him.”

Collazo said the bullying began when Angelo was 10 years old, right around the time he started wearing a brace for his scoliosis. The teasing followed Angelo all the way to Hicksville High School, where Collazo said she made multiple complaints to school officials to stop the relentless bullying.

NBC New York, November 7, 2017


Lawyer tells court student suicide was MIT’s fault

A lawyer for the father of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.D. candidate who killed himself on campus argued in Massachusetts’ highest court on Tuesday that universities could be held responsible when students commit suicide on their premises.

In arguments before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in a case questioning the responsibilities of universities, a lawyer for MIT said that schools could only be held liable in limited circumstances for student suicides on campus.

The student, Han Nguyen, jumped to his death at the age of 25 from the top of a building at the prestigious university in 2009.

His father’s lawyer, Jeffrey Beeler, told the court that MIT faculty knew Nguyen was a suicide risk but did nothing to ensure he received help. MIT disputed that assertion.

Reuters, November 7, 2017


An MIT student’s tragic suicide has some asking whether schools can be held responsible

Han Nguyen was consumed by depression and struggling to stay afloat at one of the world’s most prestigious universities. His mental health continued to decline until one day, moments after a professor confronted him about an offensive email, the 25-year-old jumped from the top of a campus building to his death.

Nguyen’s suicide has sparked a contentious legal battle headed to Massachusetts’ highest court over whether schools can be held responsible when students take their own lives. The case is being closely watched by colleges and universities, who say a decision against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology would place an unreasonable burden on untrained employees to stop suicides.

Boston.com, November 6, 2017


An 11-Year-Old South Carolina Girl Fatally Shot Herself Because of Bullying at School

Bullying at school led an 11-year-old Hampton, S.C. girl to fatally shoot herself, he family said

Toni Rivers, who was a sixth grader at a Hampton County School District 1 elementary school, had been bullied for months, her family said, and her mother, Amy Thomas, had been in contact with the school multiple times, WTOC reports. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating the girl’s death.

On Wednesday, Rivers told five of her friends “that she just couldn’t do this anymore, and she was going home and she was killing herself,” Maria Petersen, the girl’s aunt, told WT.

TIME, November 3, 2017


Study: Machine may predict suicide risk by measuring how people respond to words

Can you predict suicide risk? It may be possible, according to a new report.

Scientists from Carnegie Mellon University recently conducted a small experiment, published in Nature Human Behaviour, to determine if suicidal risks can be linked to biological brain patterns.

To do so, they assessed 34 young adults – 17 who had suicidal thoughts and 17 who did not – using a set of 30 words and a fMRI, an imaging machine that measures brain activity.

Scientists asked participants to read positive words, such as “bliss,” and negative words, such as “cruelty.” They were then instructed to reflect on them while undergoing the scan. 

They found the machine was able to correctly identify the people with suicidal thoughts and those without them 91 percent of the time. It also pointed out the individuals who had previously attempted suicide.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 2, 2017


Suicide Rates After Discharge From Psychiatric Facilities

IMPORTANCE: High rates of suicide after psychiatric hospitalization are reported in many studies, yet the magnitude of the increases and the factors underlying them remain unclear.

OBJECTIVES: To quantify the rates of suicide after discharge from psychiatric facilities and examine what moderates those rates.

JAMA Psychiatry, June 01, 2017



 

Children’s Hospitals Admissions for Suicidal Thoughts or Actions Double During Past Decade – Report from the Pediatric Academic Societies.

The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team – whose investigative work was the subject of the acclaimed 2015 film Spotlight – has produced a report on the current state of mental health care in Massachusetts, The Desperate and the Dead: Families in Fear. Closing psychiatric hospitals seemed humane, but the state failed to build a system to replace them, June 23, 2016.  


 

The World Health Organization and the International Association for Suicide Prevention have released an updated version of their guide for media professionals, Preventing Suicide. It’s a 21 page resource for responsible reporting about suicide and includes a section on the scientific evidence of the impact media has on suicidal behavior.

Highly recommended reading for anyone who cares about this issue. If you come across insensitive or inappropriate reporting on suicide, consider sending this guide to the editors and reporters.


Deaths From Suicide: A Look at 18 States
A Special Report with Data from the National Violent Death Reporting System, 2013-2014

Established in 1993, the Safe States Alliance is a national non-profit organization and professional association whose mission is to strengthen the practice of injury and violence prevention. Safe States is the only national non-profit or-ganization and professional association that represents the diverse and ever-expanding group of professionals who comprise the field of injury and violence prevention.

Safe States • www.safestates.org • February 2017