Archive for September, 2013

Florida Girl’s Death By Bullying Just Days After Suicide Prevention Day

According to Here and Now, September 10 was World Suicide Prevention Day. The goal of this day is to make people more aware of the warning signs of suicide and also to alert people help is available. World Suicide Prevention Day serves an important aim, as the number of people who die by suicide has reached record highs in the United States.

One reason why some individuals in the United States die by suicide is because they are vulnerable and a precipitant, like bullying, sparks suicidal behavior. Bullying Statistics.org reveals  there is a strong link between bullying and suicide and that girls ages 10-14 are at especially high risk of dying by suicide because they are being bullied. Just a few short days after World Suicide Prevention Day, one such tragic death due to bullying occurred in Florida. When a person dies by suicide and someone else’s actions may have played a role in causing that death, a suicide attorney in Dallas should be consulted for help and advice.

Ordinarily a high percentage of all suicide attempts are made by teens (and other age groups) who have a psychiatric condition like major depression, anxiety, substance dependence or some similar diagnosis. These psychiatric conditions along with a teen’s perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness add to the suicide risk vulnerability.  Perceived burdensomeness combines self-hatred and the sense one’s existence is a liability to others, and thwarted belongingness is the lack of caring relationships and frequent interpersonal interactions.  Legal advice from a lawyer competent and experienced in the field of suicide is a must.

Suicide and Bullying

The goal of World Suicide Prevention Day is to help families and loved-ones of those with suicidal thoughts to recognize the warning signs and to hopefully take action to prevent a death by suicide. Recognizing that someone is having suicidal thoughts is important, as is recognizing the risk factors, which include bullying.

The link between suicide and bullying has been well-established. According to Bullying Statistics:

  • A Yale University study revealed that a victim of bullying is between two and nine times as likely to have suicidal thoughts than someone not being bullied.
  • A British study revealed that at least half of all deaths by suicides among young people are related to bullying.
  • ABC News statistics revealed that almost 30 percent of students are victimized by bullying or are bullying themselves.
  • ABC News data also revealed that as many as 160,000 kids stay home from school daily because they are afraid of being bullied.

The bullying problem has been made much worse in a digital age because kids cannot necessarily escape their tormentors simply by staying home. The Washington Post reported on the tragic story of a 12-year-old Florida girl who died by suicide days after World Suicide Prevention Day.

The young girl was terrorized on social media, and over 15 girls repeatedly sent the victim messages asking why she was still alive and urging her to kill herself.  The 12-year-old died by suicide, jumping off of an old cement building to her death.

The Washington Post indicates police are considering filing criminal charges for cyber stalking in relation to the incident. The tragedy is an important reminder that bullying can have a real effect on a person. The victim who died by suicide in this case had searched for information about suicide online prior to her death and photographs were revealed of the girl with razor blades on her arms and her head resting on railroad tracks.

Besides the potential criminal charges, if there was negligence by school professionals or mental health counselors in getting this young victim the help she needed, surviving family members could also file a civil lawsuit for compensation. Litigation decisions must be carefully made.  School counselors and mental health counselors must be properly trained and competent to detect a teen at risk for suicide. It is their job.

If you lost a loved one to suicide, contact a suicide attorney in Dallas at the Law Offices of Skip Simpson, dedicated to holding mental health counselors accountable. Call  214-618-8222.