When Love Isn’t Enough

Suicide’s Legacy: A father’s struggle – from the AJC
One year after losing his teen daughter to suicide, Richard Blackwell is learning to laugh
again.
Sixteen-year-old Alex Blackwell died in September 2017, after a yearlong struggle with
social anxiety and depression, inflamed by back-to-back sports concussions and extensive
leg surgery. The Atlanta-journal-Constitution shared Alex’s story in a Personal Journey
earlier this year. Click HERE to read her story.
The rosy-cheeked girl with striking blue eyes was beloved for her wicked sense of humor
and spontaneity. Her sudden death, the result of an intentional overdose, left a dent in the
Blackwells’ close-knit Tucker community and at Greater Atlanta Christian School, where
Alex played soccer.
“She was the best adventure of my life,” said Seth Masters, Alex’s boyfriend.
It was two months after Alex’s death before Blackwell and his wife, Kim, spent a day
without tears; six months before there were more days without tears than with them.
Richard Blackwell and daughter Alex shared a close bond.
On the one-year anniversary of her death last month, neighbors placed luminaries around
the Blackwell’s home. The couple spent the stormy night eating sushi and drinking a
couple beers before going to bed. Blackwell said they awoke the next morning and felt “like
a type of burden had lifted up and off.
“Everybody seemed to think the year was the magic point,” Blackwell said. “And it’s true. It’s
amazing what a year will do and allow you to recover from. ”
Recognizing depression To help heal from Alex’s death and to help parents of other teens
suffering from depression, Blackwell focused his energy on depression awareness. He
began curating and circulating a detailed checklist for parents to identify signs of
depression and improve verbal communication with their children.
But as time passed, he grew concerned by the growing suicide rate. The number of
suicides among 15- to 19-year-old girls has doubled between 2007 and 2015, reaching a
40-year high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Blackwell decided to shift his attention from learning the signs of depression to educating
himself on treatments for depression.
He was fueled, in part, by his own downward spiral.
Read entire article HERE.
CONTRIBUTED BY THE BLACKWELL FAMILY

FREE Webinar on helping depressed & suicidal teens

The ADAA (Anxiety & Depression Association of America) is offering a FREE webinar on Thursday, September 8. The topic is “How to Help Depressed and Suicidal Teenagers”.
“Rates of depression as well as suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury are surprisingly common among adolescents. Dr. Alec Miller will describe treatments that exist for them in clinical and school settings.”
This webinar series is intended for the general public. Details HERE.

Shed Stigma to Stop Suicides on College Campuses

Mental health needs on campus are real and serious. They’re also growing, which is why as the first weeks of classes get underway at colleges and universities across the country, institutions are ramping up operations to try to keep their students safe.
The statistics are alarming.
Nearly 31% of students — almost one out of three who sought counseling in the 2013-2014 academic year — have said they seriously considered suicide at some point in their lives. Five years ago, it was 25%,  according to the most recent annual report by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State.
Equally concerning is the significant increase in the percentage of students who have purposely harmed themselves, such as engaging in cutting, hitting, burning and hair pulling, without intending to kill themselves. Almost 24% of college students who sought counseling in 2013-2014 had injured themselves at some point during their lifetimes compared to 21% five years earlier.
“When you put those two together, what they’re really reflecting is students are more willing than ever to articulate being overwhelmed and to take that out on themselves, either through self-injury or through talking about the possibility of suicide or thinking actively about that and that plays out in all areas of university life,” said Locke, who is also executive director of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health.
Learn about NAMI’s NAMI on Campus program and make a difference at your school!
Read entire article at CNN.com.

Suicide Facts & Figures

An American dies by suicide every 12.95 minutes.
Americans attempt suicide an estimated 1 million times annually.
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10-24.
Veterans comprise 22.2% of suicides.
90% of those who die by suicide had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
Mental illness IS treatable. There IS hope. You are NOT alone.

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Suicide stats from AFSP.org
Help us fight the stigma associated with mental health disorders so people won’t be ashamed to ask for help. Join or support our NAMIWalk

40,000 suicides annually, yet America simply shrugs

There’s a suicide in America every 13 minutes.
Americans are far more likely to kill themselves than each other. Homicides have fallen by half since 1991, but the U.S. suicide rate keeps climbing. The nearly 40,000 American lives lost each year make suicide the nation’s 10th-leading cause of death, and the second-leading killer for those ages 15-34. Each suicide costs society about $1 million in medical and lost-work expenses and emotionally victimizes an average of 10 other people.
Yet a national effort to stem this raging river of self-destruction — 90% of which occurs among Americans suffering mental illness — is in disarray.
Read MORE.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention event

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is having a fundraising event Thursday, August 28 at the Agave Restaurant. Tickets to “A Toast to Life” are $35 and available online. Get more information and buy your tickets at http://www.afsp.org/atlanta