But could Marilyn Monroe's own writings provide clues about her suicidal intentions? Many of the letters, poems, and personal notes that Monroe wrote in the years leading up to her death were recently collected in a single book, Marilyn Monroe's Fragments. Her writings have only recently become available for serious study by suicide researchers.
Anytime a celebrity or somebody in the spotlight, like Mindy McCready, takes his or her own life we tend to only talk about the issues facing that specific person. Maybe its easier to talk of somebody everybody knows of. I've talked about why I was grateful I'm still living because, as I've learned, I have a lot to live for. I saw that first hand after my two suicide attempts.
On a warm evening last May, officer Pauline Nguyen went into her backyard and shot herself with her police service revolver. The death of this popular 24-year-old police officer stunned people in her hometown of Thunder Bay. There have been other attempted and threatened suicides from overstressed officers. And the pressures are about to get worse. On March 31, the Conservative government will terminate the Police Officer Recruitment Fund (PORF). The loss of this funding will mean lay-offs of 11 more police officers. Such a loss will add pressure to an already overstretched force.
It is the stigma, the shame and prejudice attached to the phrase "mental illness" that keeps people from accessing care. Mental illness is not in the mind; it is in the brain. Changing the name from "mental" to brain illness can be the beginning of a change in attitude towards those of us with these illnesses.
A study made last summer by Nanos Research and the Institute for Research on Public Policy ranks aboriginal issues as the least important concern among Canadians. I was recently delayed at Union Station for four hours due to an Idle No More blockade. An attendant announced in a surly tone that the train had been stopped due to "une manifestation d'Indiens." Contrary to news reports, my fellow passengers weren't "taking it in stride." Many groaned but didn't speak; I wrote down some of the comments others shared about "the lazy Indians."
What a mess. It was inevitable that Kate's pregnancy would have given birth to breathless media coverage and celebration whenever it was divulged. It should have been happy, frothy, celebrity news. Instead, a woman going through a very rough, early pregnancy goes to hospital and the whole world knows about it. A nurse, fooled by broadcasters, mistakenly transfers a call that should have been hung up on, and is found dead days later. It is a sad, macabre state of affairs.
It's now been two weeks since the tragic, allegedly bullying-induced suicide of B.C. teenager Amanda Todd first made headlines around the world, but if the steady output of Canadian editorial pages is any indication, there's still much to say. It's hard to deny the sheer poetic justice in the volume of sympathy and thoughtfulness born from the aftermath of an episode of such overbearing nihilism and cruelty. Not that some haven't gone too far, of course.
I was called every name in the book, my locker was vandalized, but I did nothing. I simply tried to ignore it all. Every day in the first half of my freshmen year I was reminded what the kids thought of me, and those thoughts weren't nice ones. Eventually, magically, they stopped bullying me, and ended up ignoring me. It was a nice trade off, but my mind, my thoughts and my future were already damaged.
Although collecting health statistics across the world can seem almost impossible because of political unrest, economic problems, wars, and simple bureacracy, the World Health Organization has been collecting mortality statistics since the 1950s for most countries. Are suicide rates declining worldwide?
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. There was a time not too long ago where I wasn't planning on being around for the occasion. I am a suicide survivor. On December 9, 2010, I went to a public washroom, downed a container of pills and counted down what I thought were my final hours. Tomorrow was never supposed to come. Surviving an attempt has its own difficulties. My decision to reveal this was rooted in my frustration at society's stigma towards those with mental illness and the lack of understanding about suicide.
When Junior Seau's girlfriend found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Oceanside, California, speculation arose over the similarity between his death and the suicides of other NFL stars. Though a recent autopsy report ruled out brain damage and drugs and alcohol in Seau's death, this is just part of a disturbing trend in recent years with former NFL players committing suicide in similar ways, showing that far more needs to be done.
My suicide attempts were five years apart and each time I felt emotional pain that was too deep to describe. To me, ending my life was the only way to solve my problems which I've learned is not the case. There's a classic saying that goes, "Live everyday as if it's your last." While mental illness and suicide are very challenging topics, we need to treat those around us as if today is their last day too -- with love and respect.
There have been two recent suicides in our small community, which I find distressing. When a suicide happens we usually learn about it from the local whispering network, but rarely from the news. The reason is obvious: local media still protect surviving families from guilt or shame. Suicide is too common, yet preventable, and the the subject is still taboo.
Carter v. Canada , the judge-decreed legalization of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada, tries to take a chainsaw to that old-growth forest that my colleague Dr. Margaret Cottle describes as a "delicate social ecology of mutual support and protection" which forbids the killing of a patient.