How many are googling ways to die after two high profile suicides?

SUICIDE HOTLINE 1-800-273-8255. Text hotline- Text ‘help’ to 741-741.  Virginia crisis resources.
  • June 4 –   68 visitors
  • June 5 –  280 visitors (Kate Spade dies by suicide. Charles’ died on this date, too. 4 times more than the previous day.)
  • June 6 –  412 visitors
  • June 7 –  187 visitors
  • June 8 –  510 visitors (Anthony Bourdain dies by suicide. 7.5 times more than the June 4 numbers.)
  • June 9 –  647 visitors (All time high)
  • June 10 – 433 visitors
  • June 11 – 310 visitors

These are the statistics from when Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain died by suicide. It shows the number of people who came to this page looking for a way to die when the news hit. And how all the hype and headlines trigger suicidal ideation for vulnerable individuals.

This emphasizes how important ...  read more

How could Bourdain and Spade leave their children?

When I first heard Charles died by suicide, I took it personally. I could not figure out how he could leave us like that. Wouldn’t he know we’d be devastated? Didn’t he remember how awful he felt when Cal died by suicide?

But it was not about me. It was not personal. And it took me ...  read more

On Anthony Bourdain’s Suicide

Anthony Bourdain dies by suicide at 61

Creative. Innovative. Good looking. Rich. Successful.

And died by suicide.

He had so much money. So much fame. He wanted for nothing.

But a brain that suffers from depression doesn’t care about fame or money.

I rarely watched the show but I’m watching it now. And I’ve noticed he is emotionally naked and shows us parts unknown through the lens of food. It was a conduit.

He saw food as emotional.

He was passionate, empathetic, authentic and vulnerable. He called himself a lucky cook who tells stories.

He suffered from addiction to heroin back in the eighties. From what I’ve seen, it was his depression that drove his heroin use. Just like my son, Charles.

Those who suffer both are six times more likely to die by suicide. I didn’t find out that fact until after I lost my own son.

Anthony Bourdain’s mother was shocked he killed himself. Just like we were when Charles died by suicide. It doesn’t matter at what age your child dies. It hurts like hell.  We’re never prepared for that kind of end. We can’t believe anyone would ever kill themselves.

I was glad his mom spoke out because to me it meant she was not ashamed. Maybe that’s a stretch.

He leaves an 11 year old daughter. And she needs empathy and support as do all his family, his friends and his fans.




Suicide is not an act of selfishness

What do Charles and Kate Spade have in common?

I wake up the morning of June 5, not sure whether to dread the day or enjoy it. I didn’t get up fast. I took my time. While eating breakfast, I read that Kate Spade has died by suicide. It was so surreal.

Charles and Kate Spade not only share cause of death, they share a suicide death anniversary date, June 5. Like Charles, I believe Kate Spade also suffered from depression.

They also died by the same method. And both were creative geniuses.

Charles would not have had any idea who she was. He was not into women’s handbags, wallets and accessories. Not surprising. He would not have thought they had anything in common either. Unfortunately, they did and that’s the intense emotional pain that made them feel the world would be better off without them.

The sad thing is Kate Spade left behind a daughter who will, like us, struggle with this cause of death.

Later on Wednesday, June 5, 2018, I noticed traffic for certain pages on this website was way up due to people looking on Google for ways to die–pages I write for the specific purpose of ranking on Google to intervene and possibly save a life.

The death of someone famous is often a trigger for vulnerable individuals. That’s why it’s important for headlines not to include specific method of death and have published resources. Kurt Cobain’s death by suicide showed us that people will reach out for help if you put the information in front of them.

This can’t be something we talk about for a week.

Because from 1999 to 2016, Suicide rates increased in nearly every state, and half of the states saw suicide rates go up more than 30 percent.

Suicide rates in Virginia increased 17%.

There is no right time to have this conversation. The time to have it is right now.

There is not an inappropriate time of day,  no wrong venue, or group that should not be educated on this topic. So let’s make the conversation about suicide more commonplace before suicide as a cause of death goes mainstream.

What is suicidal thinking?


Saddened by Chester Bennington’s Suicide

chesterNational Suicide Hotlines
Suicide hotline in the US 1-800-273-8255
Crisis text line. Text the word HELP to 741-741
Veteran’s Services 1-800-273-8255, press 1
Veteran’s Text line send HELP to 838-255

Virginia Crisis Intervention
Richmond Behavioral Health Authority 804-819-4100

It’s heartbreaking another talented musician has died by suicide. Chester Bennington was lead singer in the band Linkin Park. He had admitted to suffering from depression and addiction. What’s more, he had suffered childhood trauma as a result of being sexually abused for years.

In 2008 – Bennington revealed to a magazine that a “friend a few years older than him” began molesting him around the age of seven. The sexual assaults finally came to an end when he turned thirteen.

The trauma, depression, drug abuse and addiction are all risk factors for suicide.

Another risk factor for suicide is sensationalization of a suicide which I have sadly witnessed with each death of someone famous. I personally refuse to share any article that uses the phrase “commit suicide” or has the method of death in the headline or sensationalizes the death in any way. It’s a trigger for vulnerable individuals. I have seen proof in my own statistics.

Since the public learned of Bennington’s suicide, visitation to specific pages on my website has more than doubled–pages that are solely on this website to index in Google so people searching these dire phrases land on them.

When I wrote them, it was my hope that those hurting and searching would land on those pages. Maybe I could thwart a suicide attempt.

One study of people who attempted suicide found that 48% thought of suicide for fewer than 10 minutes before making the suicide attempt. Time is key to getting someone thinking of suicide to think of life. That irrational state of mind does come to an end. I try to interrupt that using marketing techniques I have learned.

Today I didn’t expect to see those pages get the most visitation ever at the statistically lowest time of year for suicide attempts and completed suicides. It took my breath away.

I have to remind myself that those pages have worked to save lives. 

My heart is with the Bennington family–his wife and six kids and all the fans suffering from the loss. And to those fighting for their lives as a result of being triggered by sensationalized reporting, keep fighting.  I see that many of you spent some time here today.


The hall of fame comment from Matt’s naked soul

National Suicide

 ...  read more

Thoughts on Chris Cornell’s Suicide

by Alyssa Ward, Phd,  LCP

I’ve been thinking about Chris Cornell’s suicide a lot. I had a conversation with one of my best friends about this yesterday and I felt the urge to share. Let me say first, I don’t know if Cornell was depressed–we don’t know what was going on or all the drivers, but my friend was asking why people want to die.

Several thoughts

As I tell the teenagers suffering with depression every week–depression is a trickster. Depression is a narcissist. When depression takes residence it’s like the person is inhabited by someone who is not their true self, who whispers awful things to them all day.

Depression sucks a person wholly into themselves like a trap, like a dark box where they can’t see out. All they can sometimes see is themselves, and their pain, regret, shame, loneliness, grief, longing. People with depression feel like a burden and they often consider suicide a favor to the rest of us who “won’t have to deal with them anymore.”

Depression tells us we are imposters, that everyone else must be lying because we know the secret–we are just a ball of pain that isn’t worth anything.

That secret is, of course, a lie

I sit with people in that box many hours of the day and I try to hold the light for them, and it’s a great honor to do so.

Sometimes people want to die because they have all the feelings. Some people, and I consider myself in this category, feel the world very deeply.

I believe this is a gift from God, but unharnessed it is dangerous.

We laugh really hard and cry really hard and we have extra invisible antennae that keep us attuned to the feelings of others. This can be an incredible gift when harnessed, and it is part of how I developed my skills as a therapist.

I have never, ever wanted to die–not even for a minute. But I know what it is to feel the pain and the joy of the world in a way that can be both exquisite and overwhelming. For some of us, this gift comes with extraordinary creative abilities. Not for me but I put my beloved brother, father and mother in that category.

I come from a family of feelers who are musicians and poets and artists and I wish everyone could see their art.

Chris Cornell had all those feelings and they were revealed in that unbelievable voice and his songwriting and the way his art touched people so deeply. People like Cornell who have the greatest intensity of feelings, potentially make the greatest impact with those feelings, but also carry the burden of them over time.

Rest In Peace, Chris. I hope those feelings are with you across the bridge, but in the most sublime sense. And I hope your children and loved ones hold onto your art as a reminder of the beauty of feelings and how they open us up to others when we express them in healthy ways.


What Richard said after his brother’s suicide

News outlets sensationalize Aaron Hernandez’ death

There are so many things wrong about how this story was, and continues to be handled by the press.

All the major news outlets used the headline that they released in the story that does not follow suicide reporting guidelines.

I won’t link to any particular story as I refuse to give them the traffic they are seeking by sensationalizing this case. Ya’ll know how to use google.

Problem #1

The headline is sensationalized. A former super bowl player’s suicide would attract enough attention without that embellishment. It has far too much detail in the headline which is not necessary. So what should the headline say? Below are some examples.

Ex-NFL Star Aaron Hernandez dies by suicide


 ...  read more