Posts Tagged ‘Suicide’

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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)

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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

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Artist Charmaine Loverin

December 10, 2009

Canadian Artist and Child Sexual Abuse Survivor/Activist Charmaine Loverin explains her latest 3 piece canvas artwork and the “I Have Something To Ask…” Project.  Photography By Diane Foy

Part 2 – Charmaine Loverin Loving My Sinner, Hating His Sin

Part 3 – Charmaine Loverin Making  A Difference For Children

Visit Charmaine Loverin’s Website

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Depression Information Videos

December 9, 2009
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PTSD & Suicides in Iraq

November 9, 2009