tried many of the supports available to help parents heal, like therapy, support groups, exercise and finding a way to honor our son’s memory.
Everybody wants to talk to me about suicide. It’s my own fault, I suppose. Or maybe it’s my little sister Lydia’s fault. But there’s no point in assigning blame.
Mostly I just miss her.
Lydia took her own life in the summer of 2012. She had just turned 28. Those first few weeks after her death, I had no idea what to say, or how to say it. So I didn’t say anything. I just kept to myself and drank too much and sobbed. But after a few weeks, this little voice inside kept nagging at me.
For years, intermittently, I could feel the tight band cutting into my wrist. When it did, it hurt. As time passed, when it would loosen, I could wake in the mornings and go for days without feeling the burden of wearing it. But an event here, a word there, could bring it all back — and the colorless band would tighten, tugging at my heart more than stressing a wrist or any other part of my body.
With the recent spate of celebrity suicides — fashion designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain — and the recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that suicide rates in the United States have risen sharply over the past 20 years (half of all states saw a more than 30 percent rise), it’s a good time to ask ourselves if there’s a better way to recognize symptoms and do something before it’s too late.
Psychotherapy team seeks bereaved parents who will help them test a new method of treatment. While the loss of any loved one is a tragedy, parents having to bury their children - at whatever age - is probably the most devastating. It is something for which no one can prepare, and unnatural, since the deceased were those they gave life to and who were supposed to have carried on their name to the next generation. Yet, especially in Israel, it is quite common due to terror attacks (130 children 18 and under killed in the past five years), war and, of course, accidents at home and on the roads.
MY older son, Matthew Ornstein, died at age 34 on Jan. 3 from carbon monoxide poisoning. It was accidental — he fell asleep in a tent with a propane lantern — but his death was shaped by a lack of judgment driven by a 10-year struggle with mental illness.
JFS has been engaged in raising awareness and promoting change related to the stigma around mental illness for many years. We are choosing to post this statement from the Judge David L. Bazlon Center for Mental Health Law at this moment because of the clarity with which it addresses this very issue. The language currently being used in the media perpetuates the false assumptions and misinformation that lead to stigma, a paralyzing force in the proper treatment for individuals and their families who deal with the issues surrounding mental illness. JFS is grateful that the Bazlon Center is there to provide the vigilance necessary in the ongoing effort toward removing stigma and providing more treatment opportunities.
– Joy Kaplan, JFS Board President
Suicide statistics can be alarming. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has found that an average of 112 Americans commit suicide every day, and it is the second most prevalent cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 24. The thoughts that lead someone to want to end their life can feel debilitating and hopeless, but suicide is preventable. If you notice signs of suicidal behavior in someone, you can take steps to prevent a needless death. Someone showing these behaviors can feel better if they get counseling. People working in the social work profession have special training that enables them to help people see that there are alternatives to suicide.
Three life-saving suicide prevention strategies have proven to be more effective and less expensive than usual care given to…
Life is all about how you think. Success or failure, however you define them, will only amplify your thought processes, especially unhealthy patterns of thinking.