Oct 132003
Authors: Jamie Way

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

(www.befrienders.org), the

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

Resource Center.

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,”

Blyth said.




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