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Grieving family fights to prevent suicides
news st suicide
Chad Roberson



Call or go online for help

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline




Warning signs of suicide


• Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.

• Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.

• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.

• Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.

• Talking about being a burden to others.

• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.

• Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.

• Sleeping too little or too much.

• Withdrawing or feeling isolated.

• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.

• Displaying extreme mood swings.

Source: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline




Those who loved Chad Roberson remember him as a fun-loving, generous man who would do anything for family — and would always help an underdog. He was a leader, protective, hard working. In the summer of 2010 he was baptized.

When he died on Dec. 13, 2010, he was 22 years old. The cause of his death was suicide.

Chad’s mother, Faith Jacobs, and sister Melaine VanderMeer, are interested in creating a local awareness that might prevent the next teen or young adult suicide in central Kansas. After bonding with other grieving parents, Jacobs has learned of several such deaths in the past year.

"People think if they don’t talk about it, it doesn’t happen," Jacobs said. "It’s senseless and needs to be stopped."

The key to prevention is awareness, VanderMeer said. One of the main things people should be aware of is the toll-free crisis line, manned 24/7 by volunteers. It’s easy to remember: 1-800-SUICIDE.

Another number to call is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK. This number can also put a caller in touch with someone who speaks Spanish.

People can help prevent suicide by learning the warning signs. The most obvious is talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill oneself, according to sources such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the American Association of Suicidology. Every year, more than 30,000 Americans die by suicide, and in 2007 it was the third leading cause of death among people 15-24 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

If one suspects someone is thinking of taking his or her life, the first thing to do is ask directly if the person is considering suicide. Next, show your concern by listening and talking.

The third thing to do is get trained help. Encourage the person to reach out for help to a friend, family member, counselor, clergy and other community members.

Jacobs wants young people to realize that whatever crisis they are facing, it is temporary. "A year from now you’re not even going to remember it," she said. Death, on the other hand, is permanent.

VanderMeer said young people thinking of suicide should also think of their loved ones, and the aftermath. She and her brother had become best friends, but she was the one to find him after the suicide. Devastated by his act, she quit her job and moved in with her sister. Other family members also suffer. "It’s not just one person’s life getting ruined," she said.

Most people who think about suicide eventually come to realize these things, but people having a crisis sometimes see their situation as hopeless and inescapable. Anyone experiencing such feelings should get help. If someone exhibits the warning signs, offer help.