Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trevor Lifeline- The only national 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ young people 866-488-7386

Learning the warning signs of suicide is a huge part of preventing a crisis.
 Although emotional ups and downs are normal, sometimes a person who is suicidal gives certain signs or hints that something is wrong. Knowing these major warning signs can help you connect someone you care about to support if they need it - even if that person is yourself.  
Have you or someone you know felt...?
Unimportant | Trapped | Hopeless | Overwhelmed | Unmotivated | Alone | Irritable | Impulsive | Suicidal
Have you or someone you know been...?
Using drugs or alcohol more than usual
Acting differently than usual
Giving away valuable possessions
Losing interest in favorite things to do
Admiring people who have died by suicide
Planning for death by writing a will or letter
Eating or sleeping more or less than usual
Feeling more sick, tired or achy than usual
Do you or someone you know...?
Not care about the future
Put yourself down - and think you deserve it
Plan to say goodbye to important people
Have a specific plan for suicide 

"Surviving the Teens / Suicide Prevention" - Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

  • Coping with Teen Stressors

    There are a variety of coping styles that people use when dealing with stressors. The three most effective styles in dealing with stress are confrontive coping, supportant coping and optimistic coping. The three least effective coping styles in dealing with stress are evasive coping, self-reliant coping, and fatalistic coping.

  • Q: What can teens do to feel better when they’re down or feeling depressed?

"Surviving Suicide" by Lissa Coffey

9/12/13- This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. It is heartbreaking to think that suicide is that pervasive of a problem in our society to warrant such a week. And yet it is. 
Suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans every year. There are twice as many deaths from suicide as there are from HIV/AIDS. It is the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year old Americans. And there are more than 800,000 attempted suicides every year.
Those are the statistics.
And then there are the stories.
Perhaps the worst thing about suicide is the pain that it causes to those left behind. These people are known as the survivors. And telling our stories can help us to heal from the trauma of this experience.

"Surviving Attempted Suicide" CNN

9/12/12 by Edgar Treiguts - Kristen Anderson says a cold January night that changed her life is just as vivid now as it was more than 12 years ago.
[:06] "Basically right before the train got there, just made the very impulsive decision to lay down on the tracks."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Suicide:Frequently Asked Questions"
Suicide is a significant cause of death in many western countries, in some cases exceeding deaths by motor vehicle accidents annually. Many countries spend vast amounts of money on safer roads, but very little on suicide awareness and prevention, or on educating people about how to make good life choices. 

"Grad's suicide ignites debate in Jewish community" by Rachel Marder

2006- The suicide of a young Brandeis alum last month in New York has sparked a discussion over how the Jewish community addresses mental illness and whether young Orthodox Jews feel excessive communal pressure to get married. Sarah Adelman '04, 25, an Orthodox Jew from St. Louis, jumped from her eighth floor Upper West Side apartment July 24 around 1:30 p.m. and died from injuries sustained, according to the medial examiner's office.

"A Suicide In The Family" -Jewish Week

Anat Reschke Ph.D.
08/28/12, Anat Reschke- Bang!, was the sound I heard in the middle of my sleep. I jumped up, but my husband Matt wasn’t there. I bolted out of bed and ran down the stairs, tears streaming down my face, praying, “Please God, don’t let this be what I think it is.”

I ran into our home office, where Matt might have been working. No Matt. I noticed the door to our garage was unlocked. I ran into the garage, crying, shaking, and there, I saw my husband of 15 years lying on the ground in a pool of blood surrounding his head. He had finally done what he talked about over the years.

"Beneath the Surface: Suicide leaves survivors with unansweredquestions"- Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle By Amy Waldman September 1st,2013

9/1/13 by Amy Waldman- This is the first article in a projected series on little discussed or publicized problems and issues within the Jewish community.
On Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, we recite the Unetanneh Tokef” prayer. It reads, in part, “On Rosh HaShanah it will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur it will be sealed — how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die… But repentance, prayer, and charity avert the severe decree.”

Decent, generous and pious people die in many ways, including by suicide. When that happens, it can leave us — and those who want to comfort us — at a loss for how to proceed. 

   A generation ago, suicide was simply not discussed. Both mainstream America and the Jewish community have gotten better at addressing issues around suicide and suicide prevention. But better is a relative term. In the past few months, there have been several suicides in Milwaukee’s North Shore area. The individuals ranged in age from teen to adult, and were male and female, Jewish and non-Jewish. All left family and friends, who need and will continue to need understanding and support. 

"Ex-Hasidic woman's apparent suicide sparks funeral strife" by DebraNussbaum Cohen

Before and After pictures

10/1/13 Ha'aretz- Deb Tambor, a former member of the stringent Skver sect, was denied access to her children; her close friends and boyfriend were denied entry to her funeral over the weekend.

Confusion and controversy marred the funeral of a mother of two said to have committed suicide after leaving her Hasidic community and being denied access to her children. 

Friends and family of Deb Tambor, a former resident of the ultra-Orthodox community of New Square, in upstate New York, believe she killed herself on Friday, September 27, in the bedroom of the home she shared in Bridgeton, N.J. with her boyfriend, Abe Weiss. Like Tambor, Weiss is a former member of the Skver Hasidic sect, which founded and controls New Square, a village about 50 miles north of New York City. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

"Suicide rates high for Orthodox homosexual youths " -Jerusalem Post

Research shows 20% of LGBT sample attempted suicide, compared to 3.5% rate for general youth population.

9/9/12 by Jeremy Sharon- Suicide rates among Orthodox homosexual youth are dramatically higher than that of their heterosexual peers, research published last week showed.

Fact Sheet on "Suicidal Behavior among LGBT Youth"
"Ryan et al. (2009) found that family acceptance was important for LGB youth, in fact LGB youth who experienced severe family rejection were more than 8 times more likely to report having attempted suicide compared with peers from families with little or no rejection."  

"US: Student attempts suicide by ‘hanging himself’ after teacher bullied him with anti-gay slurs"

Pink News 9/8/13- A student in South Carolina has attempted suicide after a school teacher allegedly used anti-gay slurs against him, calling him “gay,” “gay boy,” “Mrs Pete,” and “Mrs Peters.”

" 14-year-old commits suicide because of anti-gay bullying"

Pink News 8/11/13-A fourteen-year-old in Rome has taken his own life because of anti-gay bullying, and struggles with finding acceptance of his sexuality.

After causing cuts to his arms and groin, the teenager killed himself after 2am on Friday by throwing himself from a balcony.

"Gay medical student kills himself by jumping off a balcony"

Pink News- 10/23/13 A 21-year-old man has taken his own life in Rome with investigators saying he talked of suffering homophobia in a letter written before his death.

Police have identified the man as Simone D (his surname is unknown), a medical student at the University La Sapienza.
It’s claimed he suffered homophobic bullying at the university.

The young man climbed onto the roof of a former pasta factory in Rome and threw himself off the eleventh floor during the early hours of Sunday morning.

“I’m gay,” he said, in a note discovered after his death.
”Italy is a free country but homophobia exists and whoever has this attitude must deal with his own conscience,” the letter added.
The man’s grieving parents say they were not aware he was gay or had been suffering from problems.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Last quote for today 10/27/13- Sometimes you feel compelled to share!

"The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people."
Martin Luther King Jr. 

One additional quote for 10/27/13

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Quote for Sunday 10/27/13

"Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."
-Martin Luther King Jr. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Quote for Sunday 10/20/13

“I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you...And you...And you...Gotta give em hope.”

-Harvey Milk

" My Journey From Addiction to Sobriety" by Rich Dweck- 10/12/13

        Harvey Milk once said, "I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living."

        After a family intervention 10 years ago, along with the help of a community organization called the SAFE Foundation, I went to rehab. I remember that juncture so vividly. The feelings I experienced were so intense and painful. I felt knots deep in the pit of my stomach, sometimes so acute that I felt it a struggle to breathe. I was in a situation of pending doom. Where was the hope?  

        As you can only imagine, it was a very uncanny time for me. In the media, we hear celebrities going to rehab and might laugh at them. Just take a moment to think of the many that  lost the fight of addiction and are no longer with us. It's much easier to laugh than to empathize with the pain of another. Why would anybody want to feel such unpleasant feelings? I know I wouldn't. 

        In rehab, I recall thinking, I've been in therapy for 26 years on and off. Every one of the therapists provided me with hope that it would get better, but it never did. The pivotal moment was when I was about to quit rehab and head back to New York City. 

        While I was contemplating heading back, I walked into the courtyard of the rehab center on a hill in the center of the rural south. I can still feel the sun shining down on the hill with a crisp chill in the air. I thought to myself, why should I trust anybody. The next thought that came to mind was, "Oh sh*t", I am handcuffed to myself and don't have the key. I could actually see two of me handcuffed to one another and no matter where I would go,  I couldn't get away from myself. Is it worth living and hoping for something that will never come? 

        Damn right, I had my family to live for. They showed me so much love and support through this process, that to give up on life would be giving up on them. I needed a reason to live. Sometimes knowing someone cares can save someone's life. All the feelings of loneliness and despair were still present, but my perception started to change. Hope was starting to seep in very slowly. 

        I remember thinking, if I make it through this part of my life, I know God has a grander plan for me. Though my faith was shot, I allowed myself to believe in something greater than myself. What that was, I had no clue. I was told to take baby steps and allow the path to come clear. This meant I didn't have to believe in the God I thought was evil, but a loving and compassionate God.

        Finally, I agreed to give it one last shot. I made a pact between myself and my higher power. I agreed to open myself up and become teachable. My feelings of anger and hopelessness transformed to hope and strength. As the proverb states "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear". 

        I am more and more grateful everyday for the support I received from the SAFE Foundation, my family and every single person that took the time to talk to me and let me know I was lovable. They knew that better days were ahead. They loved me just enough, till I learned to love myself. 

        On December 10th, 2013, I will celebrate my 10th year sober from drugs and alcohol. I will not celebrate alone, but with the countless people that helped me get here. 

"Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning" -Viktor Frankl. 


Video: Orthodox Gay Jews experiences of "Ex-Gay" therapy

Ben Unger and Chaim Levin grew up in Orthodox Jewish homes in Brooklyn. They lived in traditional, socially conservative homes and tried to live up to the expectations of their faith and families.

They were gay, however, and were told they had to choose between being gay and Jewish - as if this were truly possible.

In a desperate search for "help", Ben and Chaim found the "ex-gay" organization Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH). This was the discredited organization founded by Wall Street con artist Arthur Abba Goldberg, who went to prison for massive bond fraud.

Goldberg promised to "cure" both men of their homosexuality and make them straight. He recommended that Ben and Chaim have therapy sessions with Alan Downing, a "life coach" who often conducted his practice out of JONAH's headquarters. Downing is also a senior trainer for the controversial "ex-gay" outdoor retreat, Journey Into Manhood, which is run by the organization, People Can Change.

While Ben and Chaim were in "therapy", Downing admitted that he was still attracted to men. In time, the sessions devolved into a "psychological striptease", where the men were asked to strip completely named and touch themselves.

Both Ben and Chaim say they were harmed by the therapy and consider Downing's actions highly unprofessional, unethical and inappropriate.

Unfortunately, groups like JONAH and People Can Change often place vulnerable people in the hands of unqualified, unhealthy "life coaches" and counselors who are struggling to accept their own repressed sexual orientation. This creates disastrous situations where unhealthy, predatory behavior can occur.

Fortunately, Ben and Chaim have come to accept themselves and now live as out, proud openly gay men. They warn Jewish LGBT youth to avoid fraudulent scams like JONAH and accept themselves.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Quote for Sunday 10/13/13

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” 
― Sigmund Freud

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Quote for Sunday 10/6/13

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror.
I can take the next thing that comes along."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

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