Archive for the ‘Suicide’ Category

h1 launched

May 2, 2010

Hello everyone,

I thought I better post this in case many are still visiting this blog for updates.  Coming Out Of The Dark has moved to its own domain.

Check it out!


ANDREW KOENIG 1968 – 2010 R.I.P.

February 28, 2010

Andrew was a man who cared deeply about others, and who acted
on his conscience… working on a grass-roots level to help those in
need. To honor him and his life, the family are suggesting people

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline or The US Campaign for Burma


Andrew Koenig Found Dead – CNN report

February 27, 2010

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“My son took his own life” Andrew Koenig’s Father Confirms

February 25, 2010

Hours ago the news broke that Andrew Koenig’s body was found in Vancouver’s Stanley Park and that a press conference will be held in the area he was found at 5pm PT.  This is the news that no one wanted to hear still hoping Koenig decided to go on a solitary retreat and would be heard from soon.  Sadly, that was not the case and all our fears were confirmed today.

Koenig was last seen at a bakery near Stanley Park on February 14th.   Search and Rescue teams along with the Vancouver police searched the park on Wednesday after friends and family said that Andrew considered the 1,000 acre park a second home.  They didn’t find any clues.  Andrew’s parents flew to Vancouver on Tuesday to join the search and held a news conference the same day pleading with the public that with the craziness of the Olympics going on if everyone could just take a moment to look at the faces around them.

Understandably frustrated, 10 of Andrew’s close friends organized their own search of Stanley Park today inviting Walter and Judy Koenig along.  Split up in teams, it didn’t take long as 2 hours into the search one team found Andrew’s body and called the parents who went to the site immediately.  Koenig was found in a densely wooded area, 30 to 40 metres off a bridal path that is one of the many trails in Stanley Park.  At 5pm PT the Koenig’s and police gathered about 1 kilometer away to announce the news in a press conference.

At an obviously upsetting time, Walter Koenig  stated that his “son was obviously in a lot of pain and that he’d received 100’s of  emails from people who said they were  depressed or who had considered the same course of action, or from family’s saying they had someone who had shown signs of this behavior or who have lost members of their family because of this.”  Koenig continued holding back tears took a moment to think about what he wanted to say then said ” if you are one of those people who feel like you can’t handle it anymore “If you can learn anything from this, it’s that there are people out there who really care, and you may  not think so and ultimately it may not be enough, but  there are people who really really care and before you make that final decision, check it out again, talk to somebody.”

Koenig then pleaded “for those familys who have members who they fear may be susceptible to this situation, don’t ignore it, don’t rationalize it, extend a hand.” Andrew’s mother Judy added “Don’t rationalize away anything — connect with each other if there’s something that’s bothering you, because there’s love out there.”

Before the conference I also tried to find the good to come out of this tragedy: the fact that Andrew Koenig went missing February 14th and was not found until February 25th turned what can often be a one day story people forget about quickly into almost 2 weeks of raised awareness of suicide or major depression warning signs.  Many news outlets ran stories with real facts about mental illness and posted the long list of signs to look out for.  I hope more people than normal took the time to educate themselves and then check in with friends and family to see how they are.

I urge you to read many of the stories and resources you can find on Coming Out Of The Dark and its links to other organizations that people can turn to for help.  1 in 5 will experience depression or mental illness this year alone, we need to start those conversations that were left in the closet for so long.  Break the stigma of mental illness so those suffering feel more comfortable reaching out for help.

It’s a sad day.  I will write more later, for now let’s wish that Andrew found the peace he was looking for and that his family and friends can find comfort in the outpouring of concern we all have shown. – Diane Foy, Coming Out Of The Dark 😦

Here is a touching scene from Growing Pains about true friends saying goodbye

R.I.P.  Andrew Koenig  (1968 – 2010)



February 24, 2010


Body found in Stanley Park believed to be Koenig

VANCOUVER — Vancouver police say a body has been discovered and that it could be that of missing actor Andrew Koenig.

Police were to release more details at a news conference 5PM pt, and say Koenig’s family will be present.

Police have asked reporters to gather in Stanley Park, where the body was found at about noon.

Koenig disappeared on Feb. 14 and is best known for his Richard “Boner” Stabone role in the 1980s sitcom “Growing Pains.”

On Thursday, his father, Walter Koenig, told a news conference at the Vancouver Police Department that his son suffers from depression.

Koenig, himself an actor who played the part of a Russian crew member on the original “Star Trek” TV series, implored the public to look out for his son.

All Info copied from Walter Koenig’s official website

Andrew Koenig, the son of Star Trek actor Walter Koenig, is missing. The last time Andrew Koenig was seen was on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Andrew Koenig never boarded his flight back to the US, and he hasn’t heard from since then.

His cell phone was used on 2/16, as was his bank account, but the phone is now turned off and there has been no new activity since.

He was last seen at a bakery in the Stanley Park area of Vancouver.

Andrew is white, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 135 pounds and has shoulder length brown hair and brown eyes.

Andrew Koenig, 41, was working as the video producer on the show “Never Not Funny” as well as doing improv in Los Angeles. Best known as “Boner” from “Growing Pains”, Andrew also had a role in “Deep Space Nine”, and is a talented actor director, editor and photographer as well as a passionate activist.  In 2008, he  was arrested at the Rose Bowl while protesting China’s part in the genocide in the country of Burma.

This is a serious matter that has Koenig’s friends and family gravely concerned. If you have seen him, emailed him or had any contact after the 14th or spent time with him during his stay in Vancouver please call Detective Raymond Payette of the Vancouver PD at 604-717-2534.

Walter Koenig Speaks to ABC about Andrew’s disappearance on

Danielle on Larry King Live 2/23/10

Andrew, best know as “Boner” from “Growing Pains”, is a funny, caring, gifted and passionate
multi-talented young man.

Andrew performs at The Improv and is the video producer for Never Not Funny, and has had roles in the movies NonSeNse, InAlienable, The Theory of Everything, Batman: Dead End, and on television in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”,. “G.I. Joe”, “My Two Dads”, “21 Jump Street”, “My Sister Sam”, and “Adam-12”. He’s edited over a dozen films and directed, produced, and written many others.

Andrew has been an activist his entire life and most recently has been working on behalf of the people of
Burma, and was arrested during the 2008 Rose Bowl parade for protesting American involvement in
China’s Olympics due to China’s support of the Burma military regime.

Andrew was suffering from clinical depression at the time of his disappearance. The last time the Koenig’s heard from Andrew by phone was on February 9. His cell phone is turned off and the last time his phone received a text was on February 16 in Vancouver. There was bank activity in Vancouver on the same day.

On Feb. 16, Walter received a letter from his son Andrew, which caused his father to grow concerned about his whereabouts because of  its despondent tone. It was also discovered that Andrew sold or gave away a number of his possessions before flying to Canada; and he refused a job two weeks earlier, saying he “wasn’t going to work anymore.”

Andrew had recently finished shooting a trailer for a feature film that he wanted to direct, and was in
Canada visiting friends: first in Toronto and then in Vancouver. Andrew was very comfortable in
Vancouver, having lived there for several years after he fell in love with the area while filming an episode
of “21 Jump Street”. Friends have reported that Andrew told them he felt Vancouver “was his true home”.

It is not believed that any specific incident prompted Andrew’s disappearance. “I think it’s something that
has been a part of his makeup for a long time. There’s no single trauma. There’s no episode. There’s
nothing of that nature,” says Walter, who added that drugs were not an issue. ” “He’s trying to get ahead
in this business and he’s been working at it a long time.” “I only want to say he’s a really good person, a
great humanitarian,” Walter said. “Everyone who knew him was very fond of him.”

Walter and his wife Judy Levitt Koenig are in Vancouver at this time.

Andrew in March 2008, with his hair back.
He may have cut his hair or be wearing it this way.

Contrary to some reports, police have no evidence that Andrew is alive and in hiding. The statement Vancouver Constable Tim Fanning gave CNN was: “There’s nothing right now to believe that anything has happened to him. We’re certainly very concerned, as (are) his family and friends. But there’s no evidence to believe that there’s foul play involved at this point.”

In addition, Fanning stated: “People don’t
just fall off the face of the map without, obviously, having some sort of problems, and we’re hoping that
maybe he’s just trying to lie low and, you know, spend some time by himself.”

Further, a police department press release stated: “There’s no new information to report in the
disappearance of Andrew Koenig. Investigators continue to follow-up on the many tips they have received. Cell phone and banking records up until the time he disappeared lead police to believe he is still in the Vancouver area. There has been no cell phone or bank activity since February 16th when he was last seen in south Vancouver. Police are still hopeful that Andrew will be found alive and safe.”

The website team urges people to rely on major news outlets (such as CNN) for accurate information: or to visit the VPD media site for the newest press release:

The police stated they have received a “substantial number of tips and information” and are working
tirelessly, but have been unable to confirm any new sightings of Andrew.

Walter said of the Vancouver police and their efforts to find his son, “They have been kind, sensitive,
generous and just extraordinary. Two of their investigators are working tirelessly today on their day off. They have been wonderful and I ask people to call the number from the Vancouver Police department … if you have any information.

Andrew’s disappearance has sparked an enormous and deeply heartwarming outpouring of
support by people around the world. It has touched many who also suffer or know someone
who suffers depression and may have thought of suicide, and helped give them inspiration
during their difficult times.

In response to those who are reaching out, the website team is posting here helpful
information regarding suicide. If you are considering suicide, please, if you take anything from
this event, remember that there are people who care about you who will be saddened by your
loss. Suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem and should never be an option.

If you are feeling desperate, alone, or hopeless… or know someone suffering, please don’t
delay…call for help.

US National Suicide Hotline – Toll-Free / 24 hours a day / 7 days a week 1-800-273-TALK –  1-800-273-8255
1-800-799-4TTY (4889) Deaf Hotline


* Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself
* Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
* Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
* Feeling hopeless
* Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
* Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities – seemingly without thinking
* Feeling trapped – like there’s no way out
* Increasing alcohol or drug use
* Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
* Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
* Experiencing dramatic mood changes
* Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life

* A previously depressed person who is suddenly happy. This often means they’ve come to a decision to end their life.
* Actions that signal they are planning for death:
* Giving away their possessions, particularly favorite things or things with sentimental value.
* Making out wills.
* Arranging for the care of pets.
* Extravagant spending or paying off debts.


* Ask the person directly if he or she (1) is having suicidal thoughts/ideas, (2) has a plan to do so, and (3) has access to lethal
means:  This won’t increase the person’s suicidal thoughts. It will give you information that indicates how strongly the person has
thought about killing him- or herself.

* Take seriously all suicide threats and all suicide attempts. A past history of suicide attempts is one of the strongest risk factors for
death by suicide.

* There is no evidence that “nosuicide contracts” prevent suicide. In fact, they may give counselors a false sense of reassurance.

* Listen and look for red flags for suicidal behavior, indicated by the mnemonic:

Ideation—Threatened or communicated
Substance abuse—Excessive or increased

Purposeless—No reasons for living
Trapped—Feeling there is no way out

Withdrawing—From friends, family, society
Anger (uncontrolled)—Rage, seeking revenge
Recklessness—Risky acts, unthinking
Mood changes (dramatic)


* If you think a person might harm him or herself, don’t leave them alone.
* Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
* Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
* Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value
of life.
* Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
* Don’t dare him or her to do it.
* Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
* Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
* Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
* Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
* Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
* Tell them you’re going to get them some help. Give him or her a helpful resource – Send 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Tell him/her t
are available 24/7 for anyone in suicidal crisis in the United States
* Take his/her words seriously and respond with compassion
* Encourage him/her to reach out for help to a friend, family member, counselor, clergy and other community members
* If the person online is saying he/she is going to kill him or herself at that moment or is in the process of attempting suicide, please try

to find his/her location and call the local police or 911.


Suicide: Common Warning Signs

February 22, 2010

Although individual motives for suicide vary, there are some common warning signs. These signs may indicate that someone is at risk or is having personal, family or school problems.

Suicides seldom occur without warning. If you are aware of common signs and of changes in behaviour, you can recognize and better help a person in crisis. These signs represent behaviors that can serve as a warning sign. The warning signs are usually physical, emotional and behavioral in nature:

Physical Signs

  • Neglect of personal appearance.
  • Sudden changes in manner of dress, especially when the new style is completely out of character.
  • Chronic or unexplained illness, aches and pains.
  • Sudden weight gain or loss.
  • Sudden change in appetite.

Emotional Clues

  • Sense of hopelessness, helplessness or futility.
  • Inability to enjoy or appreciate friendships.
  • Wide mood changes and sudden outbursts.
  • Anxiousness, extreme tension and agitation.
  • Lethargy or tiredness.
  • Changes in personality: from outgoing to withdrawn, from polite to rude, from compliant to rebellious, from well-behaved to “acting out.”
  • Loss of the ability to concentrate; daydreaming.
  • Depression, sadness.
  • Loss of rational thought.
  • Feelings of guilt and failure.
  • Self-destructive thoughts.
  • Exaggerated fears of cancer, AIDS or physical impairment.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or of being a burden.
  • Loss of enjoyment from activities formerly enjoyed.

Behavioral Signs

  • Decreased school activity; isolation. Sudden drop in achievement and interest in school subjects.
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, sports, work etc.
  • Unexplained use of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Increased use of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Withdrawal from family and former friends, sometimes acting in a manner which forces others away.
  • Changes in eating and/or sleeping habits.
  • Changes in friendship.
  • Running away from home; “skipping school.”
  • Accident proneness and increase in risk-taking behavior such as careless driving, bike accidents, dangerous use of firearms.
  • Sexual promiscuity.
  • Giving away prized possessions (e.g. CD collection).
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of death.
  • Sudden changes in personality.
  • Making a will; writing poetry or stories about suicide or death.
  • Quietly putting affairs in order, “taking care of business.”
  • Threatening suicide.
  • Hoarding pills, hiding weapons, describing methods for committing suicide.
  • Previous suicide attempts.

While all of these signs may indicate that a person is experiencing problems, the last five behavioral signs are especially significant. (These signs indicate that a decision to complete suicide may have been made.) A previous attempt is a particularly important sign. Such an attempt increases the risk of future ones. In any of the signs, the key word is CHANGE.

The symptoms of depression, including the list of “acting out” behaviors and the common warning signs for suicide are very similar. Together, they provide ways to recognize a person at risk.

Source: Government of  Saskatchewan


PTSD & Suicides in Iraq

November 9, 2009