ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Suicide Numbers Are Soaring! Suicide: Georgia

Paragraph eight reads: “Billy saw a psychologist. He was taking
prescription antidepressants and attended meetings of a support group. In the end,
it wasn’t enough and Billy took his life.”

http://www.times-herald.com/local/Coweta-suicide-numbers-soaring-1100324

Published Saturday, April 24, 2010 in Local

Coweta suicide numbers soaring
By Alex McRae

The Times-Herald

Suicides are rarely reported in the news. But a local couple says if they
were, headlines would have been far too frequent in recent months.

Husband and wife Lynn and Nancy Bradley founded the Coweta chapter of the
Survivors of Suicide group in 1997. For 13 years they have helped countless
people deal with the personal anguish and pain that follows the loss of a
loved one to suicide.

The Bradleys say that federal Centers for Disease Control figures show
that for years Coweta has averaged about 11 suicide deaths annually. But
according to anecdotal reports from friends and associates in the health care
and law enforcement communities, the Bradleys believe that number has
skyrocketed in recent months. They have been told there have been 15 suicides in
Coweta since Jan. 1, and that almost a dozen suicides occurred in November
and December 2009.

“The poor economy has certainly led to a lot of anxiety and depression,”
Lynn Bradley says. “But there are other factors involved, too. No one really
knows why suicides seem to be increasing right now, and we don’t have the
answer. We just want people to know that if you are a friend or loved one
of someone who has committed suicide, there is help out there to deal with
your grief.”

The Bradleys became involved with the SOS support group not long after the
suicide death of Nancy’s brother, Billy, in December 1996.

Billy had been struggling and the family knew he was depressed and
troubled.

“He mentioned suicide once,” Nancy says. “But we didn’t know what to do
and it looked like he was dealing with things, like he was taking the right
steps.”

Billy saw a psychologist. He was taking prescription antidepressants and
attended meetings of a support group. In the end, it wasn’t enough and Billy
took his life.

As is often the case, family members blamed themselves. Nancy took it
hardest.

“He was my baby brother and the youngest of eight kids,” Nancy says. “I
felt like it had always been my duty to take care of him. I felt like I had
failed.”

As they started to deal with their grief, the Bradleys sought assistance
and found Survivors of Suicide. The closest group was in Henry County, and
Nancy and Lynn attended their first meeting in February 1997.

Everyone in attendance had a different story. But they all had the same
question:

Why?

“That’s what everyone wants to know,” Nancy says. “Sadly, it’s a question
that usually doesn’t get answered.”

After attending several meetings in Henry County, Nancy and Lynn felt a
glimmer of hope.

“The more we got involved the better things got,” Nancy says. “Hearing the
others talk I realized I could get through it, but I realized you can’t do
it alone.”

The Bradleys also felt there was a similar need in Coweta County and
talked of forming a local SOS group. At the same time, a friend of the Bradleys
who had lost his wife to suicide was looking for help. Out of the blue, the
friend contacted the Bradleys and they talked.

In August 1997, the Coweta chapter of Survivors of Suicide had its first
meeting.

“I felt like something good had to come out of my brother’s death,” Nancy
says. “And I thought this might be it.”

The Coweta SOS group only works with survivors of suicide, but the local
meetings have also been attended by people who have attempted suicide and
failed. The Bradleys say coming to a meeting often gives them a new
perspective on the consequences of their actions.

“When they see the impact of a suicide on the surviving family members, it
really changes their attitude,” Nancy says. “People don’t realize how
devastating a suicide is for those left behind.”

Meetings of the local SOS group are held the second Monday of each month
from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Crossroads Church main building at 2564 Highway 154.
Those interested in more information about meetings may call the church
office at 770-254-0291. The local SOS group operates under the auspices of
Crossroads Church’s care and counseling ministry, led by Dr. John Hobbs.

Those who attend may talk or listen.

“We see lots of tears and some anger and some guilt,” Nancy says. “But
some people just want to sit quietly and listen. That’s fine, too.”

The Bradleys have heard tales of tragedy ranging from the suicide death of
an 11-year-old child to the story of a woman whose husband and two sons
all committed suicide within 18 months of each other.

“All the stories are heartbreaking,” Nancy says. “We are there to offer
hope and I think people who attend the meetings realize that.”

Lynn says the key is finding help early.

“If we can get to people early they can share their feelings in a safe,
supportive atmosphere,” he says.

The Bradleys say common themes about the causes of suicide emerge at each
meeting.

“There is usually a loss of self worth,” Lynn says. “People who lose their
jobs lose their self-esteem. We are also hearing about more and more
people who are depressed because of medical issues.”

Lynn Bradley says potential suicide victims have three things in common:
Feelings of helplessness, feelings of hopelessness and feelings of
haplessnes.

“They know something is wrong,” he says. “They just don’t know what to do
or where to go. We can help.”

Lynn and Nancy Bradley are qualified lay counselors and have undergone
training at the Link Counseling Center, but they are not professional
psychologists and are quick to point those in need to skilled professionals.

“If someone needs professional help, we make sure to help them contact the
right person,” Nancy says.

The SOS group deals with survivors of suicide, but sometimes receives
calls from people who are troubled and may be contemplating suicide. They are
often referred to the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Georgia (SPAN),
which can be contacted at www.span-ga.org

Lynn and Nancy Bradley are available day and night for anyone seeking help
and can be reached at 770-251-6216. They encourage anyone coping with a
suicide to contact them.

“Some are just scared to admit they have a problem,” Nancy says. “We try
and show them that getting help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of
intelligence.”

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ANTIDEPRESSANT WITHDRAWAL: Mother Kills Baby: Pennsylvania

Paragraph 16 reads:  “The defendant’s defense lawyer,
Pietro Joseph D’Angelo, told the court that at the time of the baby’s death,
Brown should have been taking medication for depression and
anxiety.”

“Brown, who is currently back
on prescription medication,
testified she is better able to
cope.”

http://www.timesherald.com/articles/2009/11/21/news/doc4b0772fcf0acd165303912.txt

By KEITH PHUCAS
Times Herald Staff

COURTHOUSE
­ A Norristown woman who admitted causing fatal injuries to her 20-month-old
toddler last November, when she shook him and banged his head against a bed
headboard, was sentenced to prison Friday.

Jennifer Brown, 24, who
pleaded guilty in September to involuntary manslaughter and endangering the
welfare of a child, was sentenced by Montgomery County Judge William R.
Carpenter to 11 1/2 to 23 months behind bars and three years’
probation.

Brown has already been incarcerated for seven months and is
eligible for Montgomery County Correctional Facility’s Work Release
Program.

She severely injured her son, Lathario Brown-Jacobs, on Nov. 25
in his bedroom at the family’s East Jacoby Street home, and the child died in
the hospital three days later.

After paramedics attempted to treat the
child at the scene, he was taken to Montgomery Hospital. Physicians there
suspected the severe trauma was not accidentally inflicted, and the child was
transferred to Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, where he was put on life
support.

When the injured boy was initially hospitalized, the woman
claimed she was awakened by sounds coming from her son’s room at 3 a.m.,
according to court papers, and when she went to check on him, he was having
difficulty breathing.

The mother claimed she tried to wake him, but he
reportedly didn’t respond, and she got upset and began shaking him and hit his
head several times, according to authorities. Around 4 a.m., the mother called
911 to report her son was having breathing problems.

A Norristown day
care center that took care of Lathario Brown on a regular basis told
investigators that the boy frequently had a bloody nose or bloody lip when he
was dropped off in the morning, according to court papers.

When
Norristown Detective David Mazza and County Detective Rich Nilsen interviewed
Brown a second time, she admitted shaking the boy and hitting his head several
times on the headboard or the wall, and at some point the toddler “went
limp.”

According to court records, Dr. Chase Blanchard, a forensic
pathologist with the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office, performed an
autopsy. Dr. Lucy Rorke-Adams, an expert in neuropathology, examined the child’s
brain tissue, and concluded he died as a result of a severe brain
injury.

The defendant’s mother, Eleanor Brown, and the child’s father,
Terrence Jacobs, testified at the sentencing hearing.

“My daughter has
been through a lot of pain and suffering,” Eleanor Brown said. “This has made
her stronger.”

Jacobs, who is also the father of the 24-year-old woman’s
other children, described her as a “very passionate” person. He said the couple
had lived together in Augusta, Ga., but the couple split up and Brown returned
to Norristown.

“She was the thread that held our family together,” he
said.

The defendant’s defense lawyer, Pietro Joseph D’Angelo, told the
court that at the time of the baby’s death, Brown should have been taking
medication for depression and anxiety.

Brown, who is currently back on
prescription medication, testified she is better able to cope.

“It makes
me feel real calm,” she said.

Brown, who graduated from Norristown Area
High School in 2003, played on the school’s field hockey and lacrosse
teams.

Just prior to sentencing, Carpenter said the defendant had no
prior criminal record and was actively participating in counseling programs in
prison.

“I find she is genuinely remorseful, and has the support from her
family,” the judge said.

Since the child’s death nearly a year ago,
Brown’s brother and father have also died.

“She has suffered, and we all
have suffered,” Eleanor Brown said.

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