For Fran Blyth, suicide statistics are more than numbers.
Blyth was 22 years old when her aunt called her apartment to say
that her mother had taken pills and drank, committing suicide.
“There’s not a day in my life that it is not something I think
about. I feel the loss of that person in my life and it’s something
that cannot be fixed,” Blyth said.
Every 18 minutes, an average of one person dies by suicide,
according to Sibling Survivors.com.
Blyth’s mother had been depressed for a long time.
“She had been talking about (committing suicide) for a long time
and she finally did,” Blyth said.
According to the Web site of Former Befrienders International
most obvious signs are verbal, but there are many actions that are
indicative of suicidal behavior. Reckless behavior and changes in
appearance, accompanied by depression, can be good indicators that
someone is considering suicide.
This year, Blyth remembered her mother’s death, 30 years
“There are a lot more options now days,” Blyth said. “There was
no one there to help her.”
Local resource centers provide hotlines, counseling for victims
and survivors, support groups, advice on what to do if someone
close may be considering suicide and statistics.
Suicide is a large problem throughout the United States. It is
the third leading cause of death for young people 15 to 24 years
old, according to befrienders.org.
“Nationally, they estimate that there are twenty-five attempts
for each death,” said Beverly Thurber, director for the Suicide
As Blyth remembers her mom, she says that she finds some comfort
when her friends show concern. She suggests that people show
sympathy to friends who may be in a situation that is similar to
“People don’t know what to say. They think you don’t want to
talk about it. People are extremely insensitive by thinking it’s OK
not to talk about it,” she said. “At the time, no one expressed any
sympathy. People acted like it didn’t happen.”
Blyth said that anyone considering suicide should think things
“I want anyone who’s considering that action to realize it’s
impulsive and the effects are long lasting and permanent on a lot
of other people,” Blyth said.
While Blyth holds no formal memorial service she says she thinks
about her mother each day.
“I don’t do anything formally, but I do every day in my head,”