Thirty-six-year old Lee Kyoung-ja married 39 year-old Cho Hyuk-jin — both natives of South Korea — in the fall of 2015. They relocated to Vietnam a few months later without a concrete plan for work. On the surface, their decision was shocking. Kyoung-ja, my close friend from my four years living in Korea and the MC at my wedding, was a voice actress. She had consistent, well-paid work, and her new husband was a successful television commercial producer at Samsung.
Middle-aged white people in the United States are bucking a global trend as they face an escalation in deaths from suicide, overdose and alcohol related deaths, according to a study from Anne Case and Angus Deaton of Princeton University.
“You have to treat the root of the problem, and not just operate on the symptoms,” explained Ebbem, a Norwegian medical student and my seatmate on a recent flight from Oslo to Amsterdam. “When I did my psychiatric rotations in northern Norway, I would ask people ‘How are you today?’ and they would talk for great lengths and detail about everything that was bothering them. It was as if no one had ever asked them ‘How are you today?’ It was clear they had a lot to get off their chest. It helped that I was an outsider who they had never met and had no long-term presence in their community.”
Men in the middle years — that is, men between the ages of 35 to 64 — make up less than a fifth of the U.S. population. They also account for 40 percent of suicides.
As I mentioned in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s (SPRC) Spark Talk video, because of the large number of people in this demographic and its high rate of suicide, it will not be possible to reduce the overall number of suicides in the U.S. unless the MIMY suicide rate drops.
More adolescents than ever are struggling with their mental health. While not a shock, this reality comes with concerns: How do we help adolescents? How do we fix mental health issues? Where do we target adolescents who need the help? The Boston Herald’s Kathleen McKiernan investigates the answers that we as a community so desperately need in Special Report: Schools face surge in suicide attempts.
It's that time of the year again, where we reflect on the past twelve months and make New Year’s resolutions. In the suicide prevention field, we look towards 2017 while learning from new data, ideas, and tools.
Passing in a landslide, the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R.34) is on its way to President Obama’s desk next Tuesday. Hailed as the most significant piece of mental health legislation in nearly a decade, it is designed to reform and increase funding for research, approval, and delivery of lifesaving cures and treatment.
President Obama’s 2016 World Suicide Prevention Day proclamation called upon Americans “to join with neighbors across the globe … [and] get people critical help when they are in crisis and raise awareness of the importance of preventing suicide in every community.”
Three recent encounters left me musing about the importance of empathy and emotional well-being in the lives of those we love and touch.