The news of Anthony Bourdain's death greeted us all this morning when we woke. There is scientific data supporting a phenomenon called "suicide contagion"; the number of suicides dramatically rises soon after a celebrity's death by suicide hits the front page. The tragic deaths of Marilyn Monroe and Robin Williams were cited in the articles. Making this decision isn't always rooted in mental illness, other factors include relationship and economic issues, physical chronic pain, a history of trauma or abuse, and the recent loss of a loved one. With the death of Kate Spade earlier this week and now Anthony Bourdain today, it is important that we are all aware of some common behaviors of people who are contemplating taking their own lives.
1, Talking about suicide, hurting themselves, death, or dying
2, Seeking access to firearms or pills
3, Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
4, Having severe mood swings
5, Feeling hopeless or trapped
6, Increased use of alcohol or drugs
7, Sleeping all the time or having issues with sleep
8, Uncontrolled rage or agitation
9, Self-destructive and risky behavior
10, Giving away personal belongings
If you have a family member or a friend, or if you yourself are contemplating suicide, please reach out. Start a conversation with love, kindness and compassion. Create a safe space (no judgement) in which to talk about the thoughts and feelings that are hurting the individual. Seek professional help. The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
Our JCAC family is praying for the family of Anthony Bourdain and all families worldwide whose lives have been impacted by suicide.