Posts tagged: suicide
It can be a difficult, heart-aching topic, but even addressing it - just bringing it up - can be an important breakthrough. Especially here, around Coeur d'Alene, where the suicide rate is the highest in Idaho, the state with the sixth highest rate nationally. While it can be much easier to ignore the problem than talk about it, the only way those alarming statistics will reverse course is if people tackle the issue head on. That means recognizing it, and discussing it. “It doesn't have to be direct, it doesn't have to be threatening,” said Raquel Kellicut, a therapist and grief counselor on reaching out to someone who may be having troubling thoughts. “It's expressing an interest in somebody”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Tom Hasslinger's Press photo of state Sen. John Goedde telling of the loss of his daughter)
Question: Has your family been impacted by suicide?
Daniel Joe Zehm, 52, of Dalton Gardens, was reportedly pepper-sprayed his former wife, Sondra, and had driven around with her for two hours before killing himself on Sherman Avenue after a police chase Sunday night. According to Kootenai County sheriff's reports, Zehm had driven with his wife as far as Harrison and back before relatives told police he was in the Fernan area. Patrol officers spotted the Zehms on Fernan Lake Road near the Fernan Gun Range and began pursuit. Zehm reportedly was trying to talk his wife into dropping charges on a Nov. 20 incident in which he doused her with gasoline and threatened to set her on fire. He had a gun with him and had forced his wife into his vehicle after pepper-spraying her. Officers chased the Zehms to Fernan Saddle and to town. Zehm's car reached speeds of 90 mph on the icy road. Mrs. Zehm was able to jump out of the vehicle when her husband slowed on ice to make a turn. Zehm stopped his vehicle and killed himself in the Sherman Avenue intersection with the I-90 eastbound onramp after a spike strip set up by Idaho State Police shredded his tires. You can read the complete KCSD news release here.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a fascinating report today measuring suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adults older than 18 in the United States. Residents of Idaho and Washington have among the highest percentages of “suicidal thoughts” but don't rank as alarmingly high in percentages of those who have actual plans or make actual attempts. In 2008-2009, when the scientific surveys were taken, 6 percent of Idahoans, age 18 and older, reported suicidal thoughts; In Washington, it was 4.7 percent. The U.S. average is 3.7 percent. Utah had the highest reported percentage of suicidal thoughts, at 6.8 percent. Georgia had the lowest percentage, at 2.1 percent/Rebecca Nappi, End Notes. More here.
Question: Would HucksOnline be indelicate if it asked: Have you ever had a suicidal thought?
The sad, tragic suicide of Jeret “Speedy” Peterson last week helped bring attention to an issue that’s never pleasant to talk about, but one we can’t ignore. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the daily challenges and travails of our own lives to notice when those around us are troubled. And when we do observe their emotional struggles, it can be tempting to respond by saying something like, “Hang in there; you’ll be OK,” or “Yeah, I know, we all have our crap we have to deal with,” and then move on. But for some people, what may seem to us like a minor bummer is actually a true time of crisis, and chances are we may not be aware of just how serious it is. Maybe they’ve had a string of bad luck, and this particular incident is the straw that broke the camel’s back/Idaho Press-Tribune Editorial Board. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Have you ever intervened when you thought someone was contemplating suicide? Want to tell us about it (no names, of course)?
Jeret Peterson faced serious personal challenges throughout his life, but he rose to great heights in aerial skiing — and will be remembered as an Olympic medalist who took the sport to a new level. “He was never satisfied to do what everyone else was doing and just do it better,” said Tom Kelly, spokesman for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association. “He always wanted to do something bigger.” The 29-year-old’s body was found at 9:30 p.m. Monday outside his pickup in Lambs Canyon, a 15-minute drive east of Salt Lake City, according to a spokesman for the Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake. Lt. Justin Hoyal said Peterson called 911 and told a dispatcher that he was going to kill himself. He left a note at the scene/Katy Moeller, Statesman. More here.
Question: Has your life been touched by suicide?
Jeret Peterson of the United States, celebrates his Olympic silver medal in the men's freestyle aerials final at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. Utah police say Peterson has killed himself in an isolated canyon. The Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake said Peterson called 911 before shooting and killing himself on Monday evening. AP Story here. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky, File)
The Unified Police Department in Salt Lake County, Utah confirms they are investigating the death of U.S. aerial freestyle skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson. Officials say the Olympian took his own life Monday night. Peterson was found dead at about 9:30 p.m. Monday from a self-inflicted gun shot wound. It happened in a mountainous area of Utah called Lambs Canyon. Peterson was arrested Friday in Hailey for speeding and driving while intoxicated. Earlier today, Peterson's attorney filed paperwork on his behalf pleading not guilty to both crimes. His attorney was unavailable for comment/Jamie Gray, KTVB. More here. (AP file photo: Jeret 'Speedy' Peterson of the United States reacts after performing the first jump of Men's Aerials final at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games at Sauze d'Oulx, Italy.) H/T: Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise
Kurt Cobain and NIrvana brought Grunge to the Spokane Colisuem on Jan. 6, 1994 and 3 months and two days later Cobain was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Seattle home. In other words, this is the 17th anniversary of Cobain's suicide. Story here. (SR file photo: Dan Pelle)
Question: Does the fact that today is the 17th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's suicide make you feel old?
In this image taken from video and released by WJHG-TV, Clay A. Duke points a hand gun at Bay City school board members and staff Tuesday. Duke, a 56-year-old ex-convict, calmly held the school board at gunpoint and said he was seeking redress for his wife’s firing before shooting at the superintendent at short range and then killing himself. Story here. (AP Photo/WJHG-TV)
Question: Would you be too concerned about your safety to want to seek a public office?