A breakthrough! Amazing! I’m chuffed!
The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) have started a blog on their website for suicide attempt survivors. This really is a breakthrough, the first of its kind in the world from a mainstream suicide prevention organisation. I take my hat off to Cara Anna, who is the (formidable) driving force behind this initiative, just a little over a year after creating her own blog for survivor voices…
It appears that AAS are maybe beginning to take the survivor voice seriously. If you go to the blog (link below), you’ll see they have other pages on/for survivors, which even includes a link to Suicide Anonymous.
All worth checking out… And, my fellow survivors, you may want to consider writing something for the blog… I will be…
The beginning of a new era? Let’s hope so…
Cheers – David
A really nifty “interactive graph” from the US that compares causes of death with 16 “peer countries”…
Most people are surprised (shocked), as I was, to learn that, according to the WHO, suicides account for about half of all violent deaths globally – i.e. about the same as the combined total of deaths due to homicide and war. This latest data more or less confirms the WHO numbers, though with some variation for individual countries.
Along with cross-country comparisons, of special interest for me was the breakdown of deaths due to “Neuropsychiatric conditions”. We could argue at length about the validity of this data, but it at least gives the mainstream, medical perspective… and also some very peculiar variations between countries (e.g. see deaths due to migraine or insomnia).
As always, some caution is required with data on deaths due to “self-inflicted injuries” – i.e. suicide. For instance, we know that some societies are more likely to record a suicide as an accident due to cultural taboos or to protect insurance claims.
But still interesting data here, I reckon, plus the interactive graph really is nifty.
Here’s yet another report on that study… I’m including it here for the following quote from one of the study’s authors…
“… we don’t have any evidence-based treatments for suicidal behavior.”
This study is getting a lot of press in the US (even Fox News picked it up). This link is to a PBS interview with two “experts” who mostly give political non-answers while seemingly scratching their bewildered heads.
The study repeats old news on the high rates of suicidal thinking among young people. What’s new is that many young people are attempting suicide even though they are receiving treatment – i.e. treatment does not appear to be working very well – which seems to bewilder the experts. Especially the rather large number of young people who became suicidal AFTER commencing treatment.
Apparently the study did not look at the different kinds of treatment people may be receiving – i.e. some may work better/worse than others, but we don’t know which.
It’s also worth looking at the online comments that follow the transcript. As usual, I was aching to hear from someone with first-hand experience, and eventually there’s a couple among the comments, which was so refreshing.
I had a look at this report because I was curious what the four questions were of this suicide screening tool…
Turns out they are:
– current thoughts of being better off dead
– current wish to die
– current suicidal ideation, and
– history of suicide attempt
And that “Positive responses to 1 or more of these 4 questions identified 97% of the youth at risk for suicide”.
Am I being disingenuous thinking that this research is “discovering” the bleeding obvious – i.e. the best way to find out (the best predictor) if someone is suicidal is to… duh! … ask them!
Apparently you can get grants for this sort of research…
Cheers – David
I’ve been invited to do a blog at the fabulous Mad in America website, which I’m really thrilled about. I’ve just made my first post there, which you can see at madinamerica.com