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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Rural Mo. area grapples with suicides




    The first of the young men to hang himself loved to spend time outdoors hunting and fishing.


    One of his pallbearers, a popular basketball and football player who graduated from Caruthersville High School in May, hanged himself less than four months after the funeral.

    Between those deaths, two others killed themselves the same way — each hanged himself with a belt from a clothing bar in a closet. All four suicides happened between July and November in rural southeast Missouri.

    Despite the similarities, police, school and church officials have found no evidence of a suicide pact or a direct connection between the deaths.

    "There was no indication that any of them talked to each other about it, at least not that we've heard from their family or friends," Pemiscot County Coroner Jim Brimhall said.

    The deaths have hit hard in this region known for sprawling fields of cotton, rice and soybeans. About one-third of the 6,700 residents in Caruthersville live below the poverty line.



    The Caruthersville district made its counselors available after Callens' death and stepped up efforts after Tate died to provide increased awareness about suicide, depression, isolation, drug and alcohol abuse.

    Now, every student in grades 7-12 learns a program known as QPR, for "question, persuade and refer." Students learn how to talk to friends who are stressed or in trouble and how to notify adults immediately when there's a concern. They're being told about hot lines they can call and other resources available to them.

    The town held three community meetings to outline the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, ways to support grieving youths and the basic steps to a suicide intervention. Ministers are talking to teens from the pulpit and one-on-one.

    Aaron House, 17, who knew a couple of the young men, said he thinks the best thing is for parents to sit down with their children, talk to them and be open to what they have to say.

    His own parents did just that, and House said it helped.

    "It let me think someone's there," he said.

    More at link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061216/ap_on_re_us/missouri_suicides&printer=1

    ____

    On the 'Net: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: http://www.afsp.org/





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  2. #2
    Wow two stories have hit close to home, this is where alot of my family members go to school. I wasnt aware of the suicides. It is a very poor community. The only jobs near there are a few factories and farming areas. Cotton is probably the biggest. Its very common for families down there to work and get assistance. I imagine that might have an effect on this. Alot of my dad's family moved from that area including my dad because there havent been good jobs there since the 1950's.

    Meth is very popular there also......

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Minnesota-land of loons
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    3,212
    My daughter and her classmates are grieving the suicide of their friend last Thursday. A 16-year old girl. She signed herself out of school, went home and broke into her father's gun case and killed herself. Our whole community is in shock. I had known her since she was a toddler. A wonderful family. These young people committing suicide is the most tragic thing. My heart goes out to this community.

    Eve

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    472
    I realize that teen suicides can occur in clusters so I dread bringing up this topic, but....
    With regard to the strangulation deaths, was there any evidence of autoerotic asphyxiation? This seems to be extremely popular with teens and many times they accidentally hang themselves.

    My heart aches for families of experiencing the loss of children, however that loss may occur.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    New Zealand
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    290
    Quote Originally Posted by eve
    These young people committing suicide is the most tragic thing. My heart goes out to this community.
    Eve
    I lost a very close friend to suicide when I was 16, and it was heartbreaking. It has been 13 years, and I still wonder what she would be doing and how her life would have turned out if she had lived. Her father died about a year later of a heart attack as a result of the grief of losing his daughter. My thoughts are with your daughter and her classmates, Eve, the community in Missouri, and also the young people concerned - what an awful thing to feel so deeply depressed and see your problems as so permanent, that you would end your own life at such a young age.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
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    446
    Mfangel, that's what crossed my mind too...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Arkansas
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    Sorry to hear that, eve.

    Suicide occurs seemingly often where I grew up too. In a rural area, near Poplar Bluff, MO, I know 3 people who have killed themselves within the last year. Two with a shotgun (yep, shotgun) and one with oxycontin/booze. The area usually averages about 1 suicide per year. Most people there use a gun. PB is around 2 hours away from Caruthersville.

    Sometimes, no matter how in touch with someone you think you are, you just never see it coming.
    Last edited by chiefs_fan_4life; 12-19-2006 at 10:15 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Arkansas
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    288
    Waterlily, I hate to hear that. I'm so sorry. It's true, you wonder who that person would be today.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Minnesota-land of loons
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    3,212
    Thanks Chiefs and Waterlily. I'm on my way to pick up my daughter from school for the funeral. I also lost a lifelong friend to suicide 4 years ago. She struggled with bipolar disorder and finally gave up. You never get over it, no matter how much time goes by.

    Eve

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    16,021
    Quote Originally Posted by eve
    My daughter and her classmates are grieving the suicide of their friend last Thursday. A 16-year old girl. She signed herself out of school, went home and broke into her father's gun case and killed herself. Our whole community is in shock. I had known her since she was a toddler. A wonderful family. These young people committing suicide is the most tragic thing. My heart goes out to this community.

    Eve
    I'm so sorry Eve. A teenaged relative of mine committed suicide last year and the effects are far-reaching. It is truly heartbreaking when a young person takes such a final step.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!




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