Thursday, June 28, 2012

And Yet Another Northbrook Young Adult Takes His Life.

An older cousin of the 17 year old male who took his life a few weeks back, has also taken his life.*  Both had connections to Glenbrook North High School and to St. Norbert's Catholic Parish.  Several Churches in Northbrook have mobilized to provide support to community adolescents and others affected by these tragedies.

Links to Additional Information.

So You Think You Might Want To Kill Yourself; Lets Talk.

Communicating to Youth Regarding Community Suicides: How Should We Do It.

Parents; Talk With Your Kids Now

What Signs and Symptoms Professionals Look For 

Community Provided Postvention Activities. 

Helping Adolescents and Young Adults Learn to Grieve.

Many questions remain, if social network posts are any indication parents are on edge and I'm sure all of us hope there will be no more suicides.  Time will tell.  I for one will be interested in how the press handles this and if Glenbrook North weighs in or chooses to stay back.  And my sincere condolence's goes out to all the family and friends who are victims of these needless actions.  There really are no words to blunt blows like these.

The following is from the Village Presbyterian Church;

"Good afternoon all, 

Really sad and devastating Northbrook news today.  Ryan McCarthy, a 20 year-old member of St. Norbert's and a cousin to Billy Garrity, took his life earlier today.  I am so sorry for this whole family, Ryan's friends, the congregation of St. Norbert's, and all of our Northbrook community.  I spent some time at St. Norbert's with Pastor Greg earlier today and the students there were in complete shock.  Please be praying for all.

With this being the second young person suicide in a couple weeks here in Northbrook, of course our community is filled with incredible sadness and concerns and worries and fears.  There are many different aspects to grief, and within our community we are probably experiencing all of them.

As the church leadership processed this today, we thought it would be good to invite people to gather for a time to process this together, to come around one another as a family, and to pray. So, anyone carrying this burden is invited to come to a gathering tomorrow (Friday) evening at 7:30pm in the Sanctuary at The Village Presbyterian Church.  Anyone within or outside our congregation is invited, but especially parents of our youth and/or our youth themselves.  Pastor Mike, Pastor Greg, Dr. Ellen Westel (Doctor of Psychology) and I will be leading this gathering.

Please consider coming if you are available.

Youth Minister"

In a previous post I wrote that "Many have rightfully suggested that suicide clusters have been spurred by contagion, also known as the "Werther Effect" (a synonym for media induced imitation effects of suicidal behavior).

A suicide cluster is defined by scientists as three or more suicides in a specific location that occur over a short period of time. Contagion is a term used to identify those situations where there is some linkage between the deaths such as personal knowledge of each other, a shared identity as in school attendance or simply an age range within a specific geographical location. While the term cluster denotes a linkage of location, contagion describes an hypothesized relationship that is in some way related to cause and effect."

So far the press has been appropriately silent for the most part.  Lets all hope this taking of ones life ends here and now. 

Information on what to look for regarding suicide and lethality: 

*Some information exists that perhaps the number is actually 3.  I have been unable to confirm the possible third former student but word is it happened within the past 4 weeks or so.  I expect the press to track that issue down fairly quickly. 

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