Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!...

From my home to yours...

Wishing you blessings, safety and joy on this Christmas Day.  I hope you are spending it with loved ones.   My wish is that you may have some time today to meditate on why we have this holy-day.  God bless you, my dear readers.  Love, Val xox


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Facts on suicide; What you can do...

I got these facts on suicide from SPAN USA.  I hope you can take the time to read them and follow the link at the bottom to a site that lists things you can do to help.  This is a issue that is dear to my heart.  I have placed a free suicide hotline number in a red box in my sidebar if anyone needs it.  It will remain there.  Thanks, my friends.  I will be back soon to let everyone know what is up in my life.  Alot has happened.  Chelsea and her boys are on their way back to Florida.  They moved =(  AGAIN.  Stay warm, take care and be good to one another.  Hugs, Val xox


* More than 31,000 Americans die by suicide each year.
* There is 1 suicide every 16 minutes and 88 suicides per day.
* Suicide is the:
- 11th leading cause of death overall in America;
- 3rd leading cause of death for young Americans between the
of 10-24; and
- 2nd leading cause of death for American college-aged students.

* For every US suicide death there are 8 to 26 attempts.
* There are an estimated 1.4 million attempts per year in the U.S.
* For every suicide death there are an estimated six new

Suicide is an often ignored and stigmatized topic

* Suicide deaths consistently outnumber homicide deaths by a margin
three to two.       
* There are more suicides globally than deaths from war and violence

* Approximately twice as many Americansdie by suicides than from  

Suicides can be prevented

* More than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have depression
   or another diagnosable mental or substance abuse disorder.
* In a national poll, 78 percent of Americans think that many
   suicides are preventable
with appropriate research, interventions
   and services.
* And 86% of Americans surveyed think it is important to invest in
  the prevention of suicide.

Risk and protective factors can vary according to age, gender, ethnic group, or occupation, and can vary over time. Some examples, are:

* 20% of all suicide deaths occur among veterans.
* More women attempt suicide, more men die by suicide.
* 80% of completed suicides are men.
* Elderly comprise 12.6% of the population yet account for 16% of

* Older white men have the highest suicide rate of all age groups.
* According to several nationally representative studies, in any given
   year, about
5% to 7% of adults have a serious mental illness. A
similar percentage of children (about 5% to 9%) have a serious
   emotional disturbance.
* These figures mean that millions of adults and children are disabled
   by mental illnesses every year
* In addition to the tragedy of lost lives, mental illnesses come with a
   devastatingly high financial cost.  In the U.S., the annual economic,
   indirect cost of mental illnesses is estimated to be
$79 billion
   ($63 billion in lost productivity, $12 billion in mortality costs, and
   $4 billion in productivity losses for incarcerated individuals and
   for the time of those who provide family care).

What you can do

Sunday, December 16, 2007

This is for Jessica...

I got a call from a really good friend about three weeks ago telling me that her 18 year-old daughter, Jessica, who was in college, had killed herself.  I was dumbstruck.  She was so, so young!  I felt so ill when I heard this.  So sick to my stomach.  I didn't know what to say to her.  All I could do was "be there for her" and allow her to talk about it.  We have been friends for about six years.  Then a neighbor in town here killed himself about a week ago.   I have been walking around in a sort of "fog".    I am no stranger to suicides.  I have had several friends/acquaintances who have killed themselves over the past 20 years.  I am in the mental health system (I am bipolar and have OCD) and have met quite a few people who have been depressed.  I have talked people out of suicide before.  Suicide doesn't have to happen.  I have been suicidal myself.  It is the worst felling you can ever feel.  It is a "soul pain".  When someone is feeling this way, it is hard to convince them that they will ever feel any other way but what they are feeling.  I belong to The National Suicide Prevention Network.  I got an email from them this morning.  I was reading and found out that the highest rate of suicide is actually among the elderly.  If you want to do something this holiday season, visit this website, plug in your zip code and sign some petitions, make some phone calls and get educated!!  Also, if you are feeling suicidal yourself, I have a free, national suicide hotline number in the links in my sidebar.  It will always be listed there.  They are there to help you.  Please give them a call.  You can email me as well.  I care.