Suicide | KERA News

Suicide

Mass shootings may grab the headlines, but suicides are by far the leading category of gun death in America. However, most Americans don’t know this, according to a new national poll from APM Research Lab, Call To Mind and Guns & America.

Experts say this misperception is handcuffing suicide prevention efforts.

The poll asked more than 1,000 Americans what they think the leading cause of gun deaths is.

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to launch a new three-digit hotline for people who are feeling suicidal or are going through any other mental health crisis. It recommends making 988 the new national number to call for help, replacing the current 10-digit number.

The agency presented the idea to Congress in a report earlier this month and is expected to release more information and seek public comment about the proposal in the coming months.

No One Knows Why Rural East Texas Faces High Suicide Rates. And Resources To Help Are Scarce.

May 29, 2019
Christopher Collins / Texas Observer via The Texas Tribune

 

The number of people dying by suicide in the U.S. has been rising, and a new study shows that the suicide rate among girls ages 10 to 14 has been increasing faster than it has for boys of the same age.

Boys are still more likely to take their own lives. But the study published Friday in JAMA Network Open finds that girls are steadily narrowing that gap.

Eugene Keahey died by suicide in connection with a suspicious house fire that killed his wife and two daughters. Their deaths have been ruled homicides.
Courtney Collins / KERA news

The people who live in the unincorporated Dallas County community of Sandbranch don't have running water. Pastor Eugene Keahey was working to change that, until a suspicious house fire in February. 

Last week, Keahey's death was ruled a "suicide by gunshot" — his wife and two daughters were declared victims of homicide. Now, a fellow pastor is struggling to reconcile Keahey's legacy.

When Netflix's 13 Reasons Why was released two years ago, depicting the life of a teenager who decided to take her own life, educators and psychologists warned the program could lead to copycat suicides. Now, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health shows that those concerns may have been warranted.

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

Days after three separate suicides in Parkland, Fla., and Newtown, Conn., left those communities reeling, the Senate did something rare for a GOP-led chamber: It held a hearing on gun control.

Within one week, there have been two suicides of Parkland, Fla., school shooting survivors.  

The father of a Newtown, Conn., girl who was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has died in an apparent suicide. Newtown Police say 49-year-old Jeremy Richman was found dead early Monday morning, not far from his office.

"This is a heartbreaking event for the Richman family and the Newtown Community as a whole; the police department's prayers are with the Richman family right now, and we ask that the family be given privacy in this most difficult time," said Lt. Aaron Bahamonde.

What Alan Krueger Taught Us

Mar 19, 2019

NOTE: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Princeton economics professor and former Obama adviser Alan Krueger died this past weekend at the age of 58. The cause of death was suicide. Krueger made enormous contributions to the field of economics and, more broadly, to policies that affect the lives of all Americans.

Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET

There aren't many people who can command attention at the White House, the classrooms of Princeton University, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Alan Krueger did all three.

Krueger, who served as economic adviser to former President Barack Obama, died over the weekend at age 58. The cause was suicide, according to a statement from his family, released by Princeton University where Krueger taught.

Judy Amabile believes that if Colorado enacts an Extreme Risk Protection Order bill, it could help prevent her son from buying a gun.
Leigh Paterson, KUNC

Judy Amabile has a crumpled sleeping bag laid out on the porch of her bright, beautiful home in downtown Boulder, Colorado.

"My son isn't supposed to come in the house when he's been drinking. That's why we have this sleeping bag out here," she explained. "Anybody else would look at that and think uh, what? But for us it's like…That’s life."

A 2017 study found that 4.6 million young people in the U.S. live in homes with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm.
Chris Haxel, KCUR

Rates of youth suicide are higher in states with high gun ownership, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Earlier this year, Ft. Worth, Texas singer-songwriter Dan Johnson released a new album of songs, paired with a collection of fictional stories co-written with novelist Travis Erwin. The songs and stories include an imaginative cast of characters, from a grievously wounded veteran seeking salvation in drugs and alcohol, to an aging gun smuggler taking one last shot at love.

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Suicide rates have been rising in nearly every state.

It's the 10th-leading cause of death, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide in 2016.

Suicide is rarely caused by a single factor. That's why researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas are working on a study that combines an intervention program with a personalized app aimed at teenagers.

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

Kate Spade, the designer who built a billion-dollar brand of luxury handbags and accessories, was found dead in her Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan on Tuesday. She was 55.

New York Police Department officials said that police received a call around 10:30 a.m. and that officers found Spade unconscious and unresponsive in the bedroom of her Park Avenue apartment. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It was a suicide," NYPD spokeswoman Arlene Muniz told NPR, without providing further details.

Thorne Anderson / KERA news special contributor

KERA’s series One Crisis Away, Rebuilding A Life looks at four families left on the financial edge after December’s tornadoes. When the shelters close and the cameras disappear, recovery is only beginning.

Single mom Jenn Anderson had already rebuilt her life once. She picked up her two toddlers and moved to Garland shortly after her husband’s suicide in Las Vegas.

Timberlawn Mental Health System

One of the state’s oldest residential treatment centers for people with mental illness could lose its federal funding on Tuesday. Timberlawn Mental Health System, a Pennsylvania-based chain that’s been in Dallas since 1917, is in trouble with regulators for violating patient care and safety.

This story is in no way an endorsement of suicide. It's a description of one woman's choice and what came of it.

Five years ago, after doctors told her that she had Alzheimer's disease that would eventually steal her ability to read, write and recognize people, Sandy Bem decided to kill herself.

Sandy was 65 years old, an unsentimental woman and strong willed. For her, a life without books and the ability to recognize the people she loved wasn't a life she wanted.

Older men are at high risk of suicide, and they're far more likely to kill themselves if they have access to firearms.

Doctors should ask relatives of older people with depression or cognitive problems if there are guns in the home, much as they might ask about whether it's time to take away the car keys, an academic paper says.