For those suffering from issues leading to suicidal ideation, and their loved ones, suicide prevention is every day. Just hours before learning a celebrity’s death, Dean posed this question on a social networking site – “If you were alerted that someone were actively expressing suicidal ideations - and acting on them - would you consider it an urgent matter or perhaps it could wait a couple weeks? If they were having altered mental status would that be a concern?”
The reason for this question is we have been involved in cases in which there were outcries hours to weeks before acting on suicidal ideations. We are often asked if these are instantaneous decisions. The only answers are with the decedent. Our goal is to prevent that. Friend and colleague Brian Ingram responded with, “Acting immediately is, to me, the only option…an attorney I do some stuff for just had a client, today, express suicidal ideations. That attorney acted immediately and I told that attorney I was very proud of them for doing so. We should not gamble with suicide, they can get as mad as they want but saving a life is worth it!” Brian could not be more right! Unfortunately, when action is taken, there are those that will lash out at those with the best of intentions for doing so. Their mental illness will not see this reality and even lay blame for their failed suicide on those who loved them enough to do so. Those that did not immediately act may even lash out and lay similar blame. In suicide prevention, the first lesson is that there is no blame or fault. Mental health is a serious ill of individuals and society. Suicide – including the ideations and unsuccessful attempts – is not a solution, it is a consequence left on the shoulders and emotions of the loved ones.
The death of a celebrity, because of this elevated status, brings attention to the circumstances...from drugs to suicide...and those underlying issues. Karen has written two articles about suicide. These will be reposted next month, Suicide Prevention month, but are good share now.
-- The first was for our friends at Pursuit Magazine in December 2011:
Understanding Suicide and its Prevention – Equivocal Death Investigations
Many people know how burdensome life can be; many have struggled with depression and the feelings of despair. While most people are able to seek the help they need, others feel the help just isn’t there, and nobody would understand them anyway.
Our agency has been conducting equivocal death investigations since 2002, and in this time frame we have seen more suicide deaths than any other deaths. We have compiled the information contained in this article to assist in educating people on some of the aspects surrounding suicide deaths.
Continued at http://pursuitmag.com/understanding-suicide-and-its-prevention-equivocal-death-investigations
-- The second was for our friends at PI Now in September 2013:
The Question of Suicide Equivocal Death Investigations
One unintended consequence of suicide is that when there are so many questions, which only the decedent can answer, the person experiencing these questions will sometimes become obsessed, and the questions are played over and over again in their minds. This wears that person down, which can cause anxiety, depression, and an abundance of anger and sadness to the point that the person with the lingering questions becomes compromised in their own physical and emotional health. Once the questions are answered, the person’s mind will quiet down, and then acceptance will simply calm their internal emotions and begin a path towards closure.
Continued at http://www.pinow.com/articles/1707/the-question-of-suicide-equivocal-death-investigations
Here are some suggested resources that may be helpful:
Each of us has a family member, friend, co-worker, classmate - even yourself - that has, is or will struggle with something. From the kid working at McDonald's to help his family, to the combat veteran or paramedic that just left a multi-victim accident, no one is immune. Always give a hug and always tell those special people you love them. Never blame them, but thank them. We are all responsible for ourselves and can be there for one another.
90% of our cases are death related. Many of those are suicide related. The balance includes domestic homicide and homicide / suicide. We are often asked 'why' and 'how' - two questions we cannot answer. If you want answers, ask the questions before you are unable to. If someone asks or takes action, don't be mad. If they don't - tell them. Communication is bi-directional.
Here is an actual recent exchange via a social network to adult children, but not a spouse or other present family members...
Post, "By morning I will be dead. You all know the pain that I have been in for a long time now."
Reply from distant relative, "I will be there in two weeks to get you. Please hang in there until then." and from a relative only 20 minutes away, "Please consider the pain you will cause all of your loved ones. We love you hang in there, just give everyone the chance to help."
When made aware of these threats and then acting upon them by disappearing, the spouse immediately asked for help that could not wait two weeks. She saved a life, but unfortunately all others saw this as abandonment.
Social networking is popular - and although it happens because of its impersonal nature, it is not the place to express suicidal ideations. The family and friends in the next room are. If you see a message by a loved one, don't respond to hold on for a couple weeks or think of those that will be hurt - those replies are as selfish as suicide. Pick up the phone, or better yet - if you can, go to the person. Finally, If you are not actively involved, don't blame those that were. Remember, they saved a life while others were passive and could not be bothered. Whether for a loved one, or even yourself, don't fail to act. You may be the only strength and hope a person has.
Dean A. Beers, CLI, CCDI and Karen S. Beers, BSW, CCDI
Cheyenne WY Licensed Private Investigators (No. OL-15-31146)
Board Certified Legal Investigator / Expert Consultant (national)
Board Certified Criminal Defense Investigators
Certified in Medicolegal Death Investigations / former Deputy Coroners
Associates in Forensic Investigations, LLC
A Rocky Mountain West Agency
Expert Consultants and Legal Investigators
Personal Injury, Negligence & Death in Civil, Criminal and Probate Litigation
www.DeathCaseReview.com ~ beersda@DeathCaseReview.com
WY - (307) 222-0136 Office and (307) 222-0138 Fax
CO - (970) 480-7793 Office and (970) 480-7794 Fax
'Quaero Indicium' - To Find The Evidence
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