Category : Suicide

(NBC) In a Troubling Report, CDC finds more teens committing suicide by suffocation or strangling

It’s a troubling trend and it’s not clear what’s driving it, the team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

“The data don’t allow us to determine why,” said the CDC’s Thomas Simon, a suicide expert who helped lead the study. “Is it social media? Is it conventional media? Is it access to other methods?”

What CDC is very worried about is giving troubled a teens a “how-to” guide for how to commit suicide, but the agency also wants parents, teachers, friends and others to be aware of the risks. When media report on certain suicide methods, often officials see a rise in suicides afterwards, using the method described.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Suicide, Teens / Youth, Theology

([London] Times) Lethal self-harm–Why are teenage boys so prone to severe depression?

We can only imagine the agony of Edward Mallen’s parents, for whom “a normal Monday afternoon became a horrifying nightmare where one is staring into this appalling abyss of grief” when police knocked on their door last week to say that their 18-year-old son had been killed by a train. Intelligent, gifted, kind and humble, head boy twice over ”” by all accounts, Edward was a remarkable young man. Twelve A*s at GCSE, a place at Cambridge to read geography, grade eight at piano and popular.

Yet shortly after Christmas depression consumed him. His father said: “Often there is a trigger, some trauma, but there didn’t seem to be in this case. My son had a sickness ”” a biological sickness ”” that overtook him very rapidly. It happened over six to eight weeks.” The shocking fact is that this is not an isolated incident. Talking to experts and parents, I get a sense that self-harm, a destructive way of coping with emotional pain, has reached epidemic proportions.

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ 2010 report on public mental health, half of those who suffer mental-health problems in adult life display difficulties by the age of 14. Three quarters of mental illness is present by the mid-twenties. While three times as many women as men attempt suicide, Office for National Statistics figures show that 78 per cent of suicides in 2013 were male (up from 63 per cent in 1981).

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Education, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Men, Psychology, Stress, Suicide, Teens / Youth

(Chrn Today) Suicides can receive Anglican funerals, says General Synod

The Church of England is to change its laws to allow people who commit suicide, whatever the circumstances, to be buried or cremated according to its funeral rites.

Currently, Church of England clergy are not allowed to conduct the funeral of a person who takes their own life while deemed to be “of sound mind”.

Canon Michael Parsons of the Gloucester diocese told the General Synod meeting in Church House, Westminster: “This is widely disregarded by most clergy and even more widely unknown.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Suicide, Theology

(Law & Religion UK) CofE services after suicide not what headlines imply

In summary, the rationale behind the PMM is:

funeral services of suicides conducted by Church of England clergy may be in contravention of Canon B38; and
removing this canonical bar [on the use of “the rites of the Church of England” in these circumstances] “would send a very positive message to society at large, particularly if presented in the context that it was actually recognising current practice.”

Not quite the “legalization of suicide” or a “U-turn on funerals” of the headline; essentially an alignment of canon law with current custom and practice that will have little perceptible impact on the families of those involved. If clergy adherence to canon law were a major concern to the Church, infractions such as these are not necessarily the place at which one would start. As the Revd Gavin Foster has observed[1]:

“the requirements of Canon Law were perceived by clergy to be distant, ”˜other’, far away and irrelevant to the everyday life of the Church. [Anglican] clergy seemed to be only vaguely aware of the requirements of canon law and would frequently (and quite often knowingly) breach them.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Suicide, Theology

(Daily Mail) Church of England to 'legalise' suicide in historic U-turn on funerals

The Church of England is embroiled in a row over proposals to sweep away laws that forbid a full Christian funeral to people who have taken their own lives.

Most clergy now regard suicide with far more sympathy than when ”˜self murder’ was still a crime, and the move will be seen as reflecting a growing acceptance as more Britons choose to end their lives in clinics such as Dignitas in Switzerland.

But some critics within the Church say the reforms will ”˜legalise’ suicide, which should still be regarded a serious sin.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Suicide, Theology

C Michael Patton–on When the Sadness Doesn’t Leave+Needing to Hope Again

Sometime in 2010, I became flaccid in my soul. What I mean is that I began to think I had some entitlements before God. I told God, “Hey, I am so tired. Can I take a break? I am not going to do anything very wrong, I just think that I deserve to have the opportunity to back off.” Progressively, I became spiritually lazy. Then I broke into a sudden depression that made me understand what Angie went though before the bullet went through her. I thought that the depression would leave, and I would learn my lesson. You know, so I could relate to others. Well, the depression has never really left. I know better how to deal with it, but it is still there. More and more, I backed out of things. You know . . . the entitlements I had. But these entitlements were slowly turning me into someone else.

I love God. However, He and I have a complicated relationship. My greatest prayer is that He shapes me into someone who glorifies Him and I continue to have hope for this from time to time. But, as I backed out of involvement in church (entitlement), became lazy (entitlement), quit working on my marriage (entitlement), picked up the smoking habit again (entitlement), and stopped investing so much in my kids life (entitlement), these actions only served to hurt my soul more deeply, and placed hope further and further out of reach. It was as if there is/was a part of my mind that needed to rebel and give God the middle finger for putting me through so much. “You are going to do this to me, huh? Well, how about I do this to You?”

Who I am today is someone who needs to hope again. I realized this as I was, of all things, watching the latest X-Men. You know, when Professor Xavier goes back in time and talks to his younger disenchanted self? He says, “We need you to hope again.” It struck me at that moment that this was me. I needed to hope again.

Read it all (also used in today’s Sunday school class).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Christology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Suicide, Theology

(BBC) Nigeria college in Kontagora 'hit by suicide bombing'

A female suicide bomber has blown herself up at a college in northern Nigeria, killing at least three people, witnesses say.

The explosion went off outside a packed lecture hall at the college in Kontagora town, the witnesses added.

Casualty figures are unclear, but lecturer Andrew Randa told the BBC he had seen four bodies.

This is the second suicide attack on a school this week – on Monday, 46 boys were killed in Yobe State.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Suicide, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(Lifesite News) Suicide Tourism: Belgian Media Promotes Couple Euthanasia

Consider also the reasons given by Francis and Anne which are partly personal fears and partly about a false altruism. Not wanting to ”˜watch the slow decline of a partner’; fear of going to a nursing home; ”˜too many people on this earth’- making more pension money available for others; not wanting to ”˜dig into our savings’ and not being able to do the things they could at an earlier age. Add this to John Paul’s clear point that he didn’t want to look after them, and it’s almost a ”˜perfect storm’ of lack of imagination, lack of a willingness to care and to look towards other alternatives.

There is also an insidious cultural side to this affair evident in the reporting at Moustique. There is no alternate voice here; no suggestion that promoting this story might have a deleterious effect upon others. No help lines promoted, no questioning in any constructive way. The social question, as always, is about the cart and the horse ”“ is the media effectively pushing the issue or is it, as it may claim, simply reflecting the vox populi?

This is not a ”˜celebration of choice’; far from it. It is a rationalization devoid of humanity and created, in the first instance by the legal possibility of euthanasia. It is then abetted by whatever it is in that family and that society that confirmed and supported the kind of dysfunction that allowed the children to confirm and assist instead of saying a clear, No, and offering every alternate support, no matter what the cost.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Belgium, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Media, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Suicide, Theology

(VOX) US soldiers are more likely to kill themselves than be killed in combat

The withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan means that fewer American soldiers are in harm’s way. But new data from the Department of Defense suggests that the drawdown has done little to solve the serious problem of military suicides. The rate of military self-inflicted deaths has stayed roughly the same even as combat deaths have fallen.

Last year alone, 475 active service members took their own lives according to a report published last week by the Department of Defense. In the same year, 127 soldiers lost their lives in the line of duty reported icasualties.org ”” a website that has been documenting war deaths since the Iraq War in 2003. That’s the lowest level since 2008.

The same Department of Defense report said that 120 personnel took their own lives in the first quarter of 2014, a rate of nearly one soldier every day. That compares with 43 soldiers who lost their lives on the front line between January 1 and September 11, 2014.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Suicide, Theology

([London] Times) Generation medication–Why do so many young people turn to antidepressants?

In the past ten years, the number of teenagers with depression has doubled, according to the mental health charity YoungMinds. If you listen to parents of teenagers, they all seem to have a story of someone they know ”“ a family at a loss about how to deal with their child’s depression. The figures seem to back up the anecdotal evidence. One in ten children and young people aged between five and sixteen suffers from a diagnosable mental-health disorder ”“ the easiest way to imagine this is around three children in every class in Britain. Around 7 per cent of British teenagers have tried to kill or harm themselves, yet only 6 per cent of the mental health budget is spent on under- eighteens. One of the most alarming statistics is the number of admissions to A&E departments for self-harm: over the past ten years, it has increased by 68 per cent. One expert tells me there is an “epidemic” of cutting.

Without help, the majority of children with mental-health problems go on to become mentally ill as adults. This is, Marjorie Wallace, the chief executive of the charity SANE, tells me, “the age of desperation”.

“If you really listen to what some of these young people are saying, there is a huge element of despair,” says Wallace. “Growing up has always been difficult, but the sense of desperation? That is new. There is a degree of alienation in this generation. There is no sense of belonging. They are much more isolated, partly due to social media. They are not connected to community, to families, to siblings, and that brings more disillusionment.” For Wallace, the dramatic rise in reports of self-harm is indicative of the amount of distress. “It is not a cry for help. It’s to stop themselves from doing something much worse.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Drugs/Drug Addiction, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Mental Illness, Psychology, Stress, Suicide, Teens / Youth, Theology, Young Adults

(RNS) Rick Warren to pastors: ”˜There is no testimony without a test’

Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, urged his fellow Southern Baptist pastors to draw close to others when they are suffering. He said a small group of men were on the scene within half an hour to comfort him when Matthew died. They were the same people he met with in their times of crises.

“The more intense the pain, the fewer words you should use,” he said. “You need to show up and shut up.”

As Warren closed his sermon, he knelt before the crowd and invited pastors to come forward for prayer if they were suffering with someone who is mentally ill or if they were facing other problems.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Baptists, Children, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Stress, Suicide, Young Adults

(Telegraph) A new book shows How Achbp of Canterbury Justin Welby found God in Africa

It is difficult to imagine a more brutal way for a teenager to be confronted by the reality of life and death.

But as an 18-year-old gap year student, the future Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, found himself having to cut down the body of a fellow teenager who had hanged himself.

A new biography of the Archbishop singles out the moment in the early summer of 1974, while he was volunteering as a teacher at a boys’ school in Kenya, as marking the beginning of an unlikely journey to becoming one of the world’s most influential spiritual leaders.

Within days of the tragedy, about which he is not believed to have spoken previously in public, the future leader of the 80 million-strong worldwide Anglican Church told a close friend how he had begun to find faith in God.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Christology, Eschatology, Kenya, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Soteriology, Suicide, Theology, Young Adults

Sheila Hollins–can you really tell if someone's of sound and settled mind for asstd suicide?

As a psychiatrist I have spent my working life helping people to find a reason for living and to make sense of disability – not a reason to hasten their death. So imagine my concern to find yet another attempt to legalise what is euphemistically called ‘assisted dying’ planned for the new session of Parliament starting this week.

In practice, assisted dying means licensing doctors to supply lethal drugs to terminally ill patients to enable them to commit suicide. This is quite different from pain relief or sedation,which are of course perfectly legal, although sometimes under-used for fear of litigation. Make no mistake, this is no mere amendment of the law that is being proposed but a major change to it – as well as to the principles that underpin medical practice. It’s all very well to say there would be safeguards but there are no possible safeguards that would protect vulnerable, sick and elderly people.

Let’s look at two of the so-called safeguards in Lord Falconer’s Bill, tabled in the last session but not taken forward….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Psychology, Suicide, Theology

(The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's) Rob Rogers for Memorial Day 2014

A painful but important cartoon.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Suicide

A Profile Article of a N. Virginia H.S. which has had 6 suicides in the last 3 years

The final evening of Jack Chen’s life was indistinguishable from many others. The sophomore returned home from school, ate dinner with his mother and retired to his room. His mother asked him to turn out his light at midnight.

Inside his bedroom, anguish gnawed at him, a darkness invisible to friends and family: He maintained a 4.3 grade-point average at one of the area’s top high schools, was a captain of the junior varsity football team and had never tried drugs or alcohol.

But that hidden pain drove Jack from his Fairfax Station home early the next morning ”” Wednesday, Feb. 26. The 15-year-old, who pestered his father to quit smoking and wear his safety belt, walked to nearby tracks and stepped between the rails as a commuter train approached.

His death is one of six apparent suicides at Fairfax’s W.T. Woodson High School during the past three years, including another student found dead the next day. The toll has left the school community reeling and prompted an urgent question: Why would so many teens from a single suburban school take their lives?

Read it all from the Washington Post.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Suicide, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence

(Mercury News) Rick Warren acts on mental health in son's death

Warren, founder of Saddleback Church and a best-selling author, will team with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to host a daylong event next month focused on helping church leaders reach parishioners who are struggling with mental illness.

The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church grew out of private conversations Warren had with the local Catholic bishop, Bishop Kevin Vann, after his son’s death and his own writings in his journal as he processed his grief. Matthew Warren, 27, committed suicide last April after struggling with severe depression and suicidal thoughts for years.

“I’m certainly not going to waste this pain. One of the things I believe is that God never wastes a hurt and that oftentimes your greatest ministry comes out of your deepest pain,” Warren said Monday as he met with Vann to discuss the March 28 event. “I remember writing in my journal that in God’s garden of grace even broken trees bear fruit.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Mental Illness, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Suicide

A University of Pennsylvania Freshman Jumps To Death Trying to perform and Adjust to College Life

Madison Holleran, a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania freshman, died in Philadelphia Friday night in what police called an apparent suicide. Her father later said her death was linked to the “stress” of keeping good grades at her Ivy League school.

According to NorthJersey.com, Holleran jumped off the roof of a parking garage Friday night. Just an hour earlier, the Allendale, N.J., native reportedly posted a photo of the lights at Rittenhouse Square in Center City Philadelphia on her Instagram account.

Holleran was a soccer and track star in her hometown at Northern Highlands Regional High School and called a “perfectionist” by her father, Jim Holleran. He also said she had “grown depressed” while adjusting to college life away from home.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Suicide, Theology, Young Adults

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly: There are old dark secrets hiding in the modern pews

At some point before 35-year-old Jesse Ryan Loskarn hanged himself in his parents’ home outside Baltimore, he wrote a painful letter soaked in shame and self-loathing in which he attempted to explain the unexplainable.

The former chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) had lived a secret life, hiding memories of child abuse and his addiction to child pornography. Even as U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents used a battering ram to enter his house, it appeared that he was trying to hide an external hard drive – containing hundreds of videos – on a ledge outside a window.

“Everyone wants to know why,” he wrote, in a Jan. 23 letter posted online by Gay Loskarn, his mother.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Pornography, Psychology, Science & Technology, Suicide, Theology

([London] Times) The ”˜toxic digital world’ that killed 15 year old Tallulah Wilson

Tallulah, an aspiring dancer from West Hampstead in London, threw herself under a train at St Pancras Station on October 14, 2012. Her mother said she had been unable to prevent the troubled teenager from becoming increasingly withdrawn at home and at school, as she developed a fantasy cocaine-taking persona online.

Ms Wilson said: “Like any parent I sought to protect my daughter, seeking help from professionals at her school, the NHS and the Tavistock Clinic. Her sisters and I did everything we could to keep her safe, but she had fallen into a world of nightmares. She was in the c lutches of a toxic digital world where in the final few weeks we could no longer reach her.

“I was shocked by the ease with which Tallulah and other children can access online self-harm and suicide blogs. Tallulah entered a world where the lines between fantasy and reality became blurred. It is every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Education, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Science & Technology, Suicide, Teens / Youth, Theology

(Orlando Sentinel) Isaac Hunter, son of Evangelical Leader Joel Hunter, dead in apparent suicide

“We found out today that Isaac took his life,” says the email sent by Darling Murray, a coordinator at Summit Church in Orlando. “We are obviously deeply deeply devastated and saddened beyond words by this news. The tears keep coming and coming as we mourn. We are praying for his family and this congregation as we walk through this together.”

Officials of Northland, a Church Distributed, said they are still awaiting the police report on Isaac Hunter’s death, but the church confirmed his death in a statement posted on the Northland website.

“By now you may have heard that Pastor Joel and Becky’s son Isaac Hunter died today. All of us are grieving for the Hunter family, and we will deeply miss Isaac. Words cannot express the sorrow we’re feeling,” said the statement by Vernon Rainwater, a Northland pastor. “We love this family and are so grateful for the impact they have had on each of our lives. I have loved Isaac since he was a child, and I know this … Isaac loved Jesus. And we are assured of his continuing relationship with Christ now in heaven.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Suicide, Young Adults

Survivors of Suicide Day at Saddleback Church

Every 14 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies by suicide. Every 15 minutes, someone is left to make sense of it. Survivors of Suicide Day is a time of hope, healing, and support for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Take the time to watch the video.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Suicide, Theology

(ACNS) 60th anniversary of suicide helpline started by Anglican

Samaritans was started in 1953 in London by a young vicar named Chad Varah, then incumbent of St Stephen Walbrook. Through his work in a number of different parishes in the City he had seen the range and extent of the distress experienced by people everywhere, every day. During his career he had offered counselling to his parishioners, and he increasingly wanted to do something specific to help people in distress who had no one to turn to. He makes reference to one example of a girl aged 14, whom he had buried – in unconsecrated ground. She had started her periods, but having no one to talk to believed that she had a sexually transmitted disease and took her own life.

He says, “I might have dedicated myself to suicide prevention then and there, providing a network of people you could ‘ask’ about anything, however embarrassing, but I didn’t come to that until later”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Suicide

(CNN Belief Blog) Rick Warren on guns, God and son's tragic death

In his first interview since his son’s suicide in April, famed pastor Rick Warren told CNN that he knew his son, Matthew, had bought a gun, dismissed rumors that Matthew was gay and said he doesn’t blame God for the tragedy.

“I have cried every single day since Matthew died,” Warren said Tuesday in an exclusive interview with CNN.

“But that – that’s actually a good thing. Grief is a good thing. It’s the way we get through the transitions of life.”

Read it all

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Mental Illness, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Suicide

A Florida Girl’s Suicide Points to Rise in Apps Used by Cyberbullies

In jumping, Rebecca [Ann Sedwick] became one of the youngest members of a growing list of children and teenagers apparently driven to suicide, at least in part, after being maligned, threatened and taunted online, mostly through a new collection of texting and photo-sharing cellphone applications. Her suicide raises new questions about the proliferation and popularity of these applications and Web sites among children and the ability of parents to keep up with their children’s online relationships.

For more than a year, Rebecca, pretty and smart, was cyberbullied by a coterie of 15 middle-school children who urged her to kill herself, her mother said. The Polk County sheriff’s office is investigating the role of cyberbullying in the suicide and considering filing charges against the middle-school students who apparently barraged Rebecca with hostile text messages. Florida passed a law this year making it easier to bring felony charges in online bullying cases.

Rebecca was “absolutely terrorized on social media,” Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County said at a news conference this week.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Psychology, Science & Technology, Suicide, Teens / Youth, Theology

After veteran Daniel Somers’s suicide, his family has a new mission: Improve VA services

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Defense, National Security, Military, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Suicide, Young Adults

Did you Know Rick Warren recently Shut Down 179 Fake Facebook Pages?

High-profile pastors have long complained (along with other celebrities) of impersonators on social media. But Rick Warren recently revealed just how widespread the problem is.

Warren announced Tuesday that in the months since his son Matthew’s suicide, more than 200 fake Facebook pages have popped up, soliciting funds in Matthew’s memory. So far, he has succeeded in shutting down 179 of them, which he said were “making money on my son’s death.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Suicide, Theology

(America) Suicide Becomes the leading cause of death through injury in the U.S. over the last Decade

Why? Although the evidence is inconclusive, most point to the failing economy and its social and psychological consequences: weakening bonds of family and friendship, damaged self-esteem and the shattered hopes of the unemployed. In a year that has already shown the destructive force of firearms, guns are the handiest means for committing suicide. While suicide is generally associated with teenagers and the elderly, since 1999 the rate among those between 35 and 64 rose by nearly 30 percent in the United States, especially among men in their 50s.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Suicide

(SMH) Paul Sheehan–Dominique Venner's Recent Suicide a wake-up call for France

[On May 21 Dominique] Venner, a conservative ultra-nationalist who as a young man had been jailed for violence against Communists, was 78, ailing, and had come to the extreme conclusion that French civilisation was dying and being replaced by an ”Afro-Maghreb culture” and would give way to sharia law. The former colonies were overrunning the republic. In his final message before leaving for the cathedral, he wrote on his internet blog: ”Peaceful street protests will not be enough to prevent it ”¦ It will require new, spectacular, and symbolic gestures to wake up the sleepwalkers, to shake the slumbering consciousness and to remind us of our origins ”¦ and rouse people from their complacency ”¦ We are entering a time when words must be backed up ”¦ by new, spectacular and symbolic actions.”

He had his own spectacular symbolic action in mind. His timing was prompted by the passage, the week before, of a law legalising gay marriage in France. Venner regarded this as a key element in the dismantling of French culture. He also regarded the immigration of millions of Muslims as a demographic and cultural disaster for France. And he saw white French culture as being overwhelmed by Americanism.

Venner predicted current social trends would lead to a ”total replacement of the population of France, and of Europe”….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Economy, Europe, France, History, Islam, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Suicide

(NY Times) Baffling Rise in Suicides Plagues the U.S. Military

Of the crises facing American troops today, suicide ranks among the most emotionally wrenching ”” and baffling. Over the course of nearly 12 years and two wars, suicide among active-duty troops has risen steadily, hitting a record of 350 in 2012. That total was twice as many as a decade before and surpassed not only the number of American troops killed in Afghanistan but also the number who died in transportation accidents last year.

Even with the withdrawal from Iraq and the pullback in Afghanistan, the rate of suicide within the military has continued to rise significantly faster than within the general population, where it is also rising. In 2002, the military’s suicide rate was 10.3 per 100,000 troops, well below the comparable civilian rate. But today the rates are nearly the same, above 18 per 100,000 people.

And according to some experts, the military may be undercounting the problem because of the way it calculates its suicide rate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Health & Medicine, Iraq War, Psychology, Suicide, War in Afghanistan

(Telegraph) Lord Falconer begins parliamentary bid to legalise 'assisted dying'

The former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, will present a bill to the House of Lords next week which would introduce a system similar to that in place in the US state of Oregon.

It would allow doctors to provide a fatal dose of drugs to patients judged to have less than six months to live….The bill, which will be tabled on May 15, is based on the conclusions of Lord Falconer’s Commission on Assisted Dying, a group of peers and academics which held hearings in the style of a royal commission.

The Commission was dismissed by critics, including the Church of England, as a “self appointed” group of euthanasia supporters.

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