How are you gonna stop this?


September 13, 2004, 05:04 PM
Congress just passed a suicide prevention bill inspired by the death of Senator Gordon Smith's son last year. My question is how can anyone stop a person from deliberately killing themselves if they want to? Is this bill a waste of money and resources?

U.S. Congress Passes Teen Suicide Prevention Bill
Fri 10 September, 2004 17:02

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress on Thursday easily passed a bill to help prevent teen suicide, legislation named for a senator's son who took his own life a year ago this week.

The legislation, which authorizes $80 million over three years for prevention programs and research, now goes to President Bush for his signature.

The bill is named in memory of Garrett Smith, son of Oregon Republican Sen. Gordon Smith. He killed himself in his college apartment one year ago on Wednesday, one day before his 22nd birthday.

He had suffered from bipolar disorder and, his father said in an astonishingly raw speech to the Senate earlier this year, felt "pain and despair so potent that he sought suicide as a release."

The Senate passed the bill unanimously in July and the U.S. House of Representatives in a 352-64 vote approved a slightly different version. The Senate unanimously approved those changes later in the evening.

Smith said that when his son died "I felt the ultimate failure" but that his heart was also now "filled with joy" because the legislation would help other families and young people afflicted with mental illness and depression.

The bill encourages states to develop prevention strategies and identify what works best to prevent youth suicides. Grants would also be available to improve mental health services on college campuses.

More than 30,000 Americans kill themselves each year and suicide is the third-leading cause of death for people aged 10-24. In the few weeks since Smith introduced this bill, one other lawmaker, Kansas Republican Rep. Todd Tiahrt, also lost a teenage son to suicide. Luke Tiahrt was 16 years old.

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R.H. Lee
September 13, 2004, 05:10 PM
Any "prevention strategy" will doubtless include heavy "anti-depressent" medications, which will compound the problem. I wonder what the boy's medication history was. Had he been diagnosed as "ADD" or somesuch and loaded up with state sponsored Ritalin or some other substance?

September 13, 2004, 05:18 PM
I doubt that he would have qualified for state-sponsored anything given the family income level.


R.H. Lee
September 13, 2004, 05:26 PM
I shoulda said "state promoted". Although Kerry's tax returns shouw only a coupla hundred thou a year, IIRC. Maybe they file seperately.

September 13, 2004, 05:37 PM
So if a 14 year old kid hangs himself in the backyard of his house, a robot will spring out of the grass and cut him down before he can suffocate? Or if he tries to shoot himself the gun will just melt down?

Scenario one is no BS, the first suicide I arrived at was a 14 yr old black boy who hung himself in his backyard. His dad found him. Bad news, dude... that sucked.

September 13, 2004, 06:09 PM
Ayn Rand said "The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. "

She's only half right, Government only has the power to crack down on criminals and the mentally ill.

Those of us they can't make "criminals" out of they will find some way to declare us "mentally ill" and therefore we become wards of the state.

R.H. Lee
September 13, 2004, 06:30 PM
Reviewer Says Depression Drugs, Suicide Linked
Mon Sep 13, 2004 05:47 PM ET

By Lisa Richwine
BETHESDA, Md. (Reuters) - A U.S. government medical reviewer told an advisory panel on Monday new findings confirmed his conclusion months ago that certain antidepressants increase the chances of suicidal behavior among children and teens.

Dr. Andrew Mosholder was prevented from giving his analysis to the panel at a public meeting in February because his supervisors thought the data he relied upon were unclear.

Relatives of suicide victims who took antidepressants applauded when Mosholder began speaking to a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel that is considering whether the drugs should come with stronger warnings.

He told the panel that information from 23 clinical trials of nine different drugs given to children and teens "indicate an association of suicidal (behavior) with antidepressant treatment" over the short term. Studies only lasted as long as 16 weeks, so long-term risks are unknown.

The FDA has come under fire for being too slow to recognize the potential hazards. The agency first became aware of a possible link to suicidal behavior among children in May 2003, agency officials said.

"Obviously opinions on this are different," Mosholder told reporters when asked how he felt about being denied the chance to speak publicly earlier.

Another FDA reviewer, Dr. Tarek Hammad, also said the studies reviewed by Mosholder, other FDA staff and Columbia University suggested a link between antidepressant use and suicidal tendencies in youth.

For every 100 patients treated with an antidepressant, two or three might have a higher risk of suicidal behavior, beyond the risk inherent from depression, Hammad estimated.


The advisory panel is considering data from trials of more than 4,000 children with ages ranging from six to 18.

No actual suicides occurred during any of the trials, but there were dozens of reports of suicidal thoughts and actions such as writing suicide notes or attempting overdoses.

Angry relatives of suicide victims lashed out at the FDA for failing to warn about the chances of violent behavior.

"Why haven't parents ... been told the truth about these medications?" asked Mark Miller, who said his 13-year-old son killed himself after starting therapy with Pfizer Inc.'s Zoloft.

"We learned the hard way that these drugs can kill," Miller said.

Back in February, FDA officials said data on a possible link with suicide were too murky to interpret and needed further evaluation.

Dr. Robert Temple, head of the FDA office that reviews antidepressants, said he did not regret seeking the additional perspective, even though the FDA's most recent analyzes support Mosholder's earlier conclusions.

Officials wanted to avoid "scaring people needlessly" from the drugs because they can save lives by preventing suicides caused by depression, Temple told reporters.

The agency now advises doctors and parents to watch for signs of worsening depression or suicidal thoughts in patients taking the newer antidepressants. Drug makers agreed to put that advice on their product labels.

Most of the drugs in question are in a class called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.

Most, however, have not been shown to work for children. Only Eli Lilly and Co.'s Prozac, also sold generically as fluoxetine, is approved for treating pediatric depression.

The committee will meet again on Tuesday to decide whether to recommend stronger warnings or other regulatory steps for some or all of the antidepressants.

Standing Wolf
September 13, 2004, 06:46 PM
...$80 million over three years...

Yippee! Free money!

September 13, 2004, 07:17 PM
Time to make a law against stupidity. But then, Congress would be a a small fiesta event with perhaps 5 people.

Noone to sue? The rope-maker?

This suicides are sad, but create a law against it is like to make a law against traffic accidents with nice funding, may be about $800 million (more accidents than suicides, you know).

I thought I've seen all. Wrong!

Reminds me of the European Union law that a cucumber is not eligible for sale if it's bent more than 5%!

May be we can get rid of all terrorists because they laugh themselves to dead (remember the Roger Rabbit movie?).

September 13, 2004, 08:04 PM
That's the way with most people feel after a close relative commits suicide.
They're looking for answers. Most of the time there just isn't any clear cut answers. Maybe the person was clearly suicideal, maybe there wasn't any clues as to the persons mental condition.

Some people just can't accept the fact that it wasn't preventable. They're the ones that keep looking for answers when there isn't any. Then the "If only i had...." sets in and they can't control the guilt feelings. They look for some one or something else to blame. They can't grieve and move on.

What politicion would dare vote against a bill like that? They're afraid of being crucified by the press. So they they vote the senators "feel good" bill into law. " What's the big deal? It's only a 80 million dollars."

September 13, 2004, 10:47 PM
This rash (whatever the count is) of suicides is serious business, and the full weight of the state should be brought to bear. I propose making suicide a capital offense. It's the only way.

This was actually proposed once, in Ireland. I'm pretty sure the lawmaker was being facetious.

September 13, 2004, 10:52 PM
Working in the mental health industry (I'm a therapist) "throwing money at a problem ain't gonna fix it." From the article his son was diagnosed Bi-polar which means that someone had evaluated him and attempted treatment. For some medication and therapy can help. Family support, faith-based and community support, Heck even having a pet can keep people from killing themselves. However accidents happen and sucides happen. Some can be prevented, but not all. What the government needs to do is tackle sky rocketing medical fees, lawsuits and allow doctors and other health officials to be agressive and progressive in treatment, not always covering their backsides because of litigation.

joe sixpack
September 14, 2004, 12:52 AM
Good points.

BETHESDA, Md. (Reuters) - A U.S. government medical reviewer told an advisory panel on Monday new findings confirmed his conclusion months ago that certain antidepressants increase the chances of suicidal behavior among children and teens.

In that some of the kids involved in mass shootings at school were under
the influence of drugs such as these, it would be interesting to look at these type of cases and see if there is any connection with the above.

This bill is all about financing the psychs and the drug industry through
legislation, cause these guys are not fixing anyone, and were it left
up to regular consumer demand and no gov't intervention (our wasted tax dollars) the folks running this industry would have gone under by now.

cheers, ab

September 14, 2004, 02:52 AM
Prevention is probably quite easy. It's the dection that there is a serious problem that goes unnoticed in the vast majority of the victims.

September 14, 2004, 03:21 AM
"How are you gonna stop this?"

They will be filled with the feel good politics of the Democratic Party. They will be so braindead with socialist utopian ideals, they won't have room left in their heads to think of themselves! :D

September 14, 2004, 03:27 AM
What I fear is going to happen are two things.

First, hospitals are going to have to consider an entire class of people to be "suicide risks" and treat them as such (physical restraint observation etc). In other words anyone who fits some made up profile from the government is going to be a "suicide watch" case.

Secondly, I think that maybe the "competency" requirement on the form 44 is going to get a bit murkier. We can't let suicidal people own firearms can we?

Anyone know how this kid killed himself?

September 14, 2004, 03:37 AM
What a monumental waste of taxpayer money.:banghead:

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