Suicide Antidepressants 2010-10-26 Oklahoma 22 Year Old Woman Shoots Herself
Summary:

Paragraphs 18 & 19 read:  "Her daughter was diagnosed with depression when she was a junior in high school and was treated with antidepressants. She had a recurrence six months before her death but appeared to be dealing with it successfully."

"Chelsea had never attempted suicide before. She was so determined," Benedict-Dickey said. It just shows how deep her pain was. She took acetaminophen first, drank some alcohol and slit both wrists. In the end, she used a gun, she said.


http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=17&articleid=20101026_17_A9_CUTLIN435657


Preventing suicide becomes mother's mission

By KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer
Published: 10/26/2010  2:18 AM
Last Modified: 10/26/2010  11:09 AM



It was not Joan Benedict-Dickey's choice to speak out about suicide.

Instead, the death of her only daughter three years ago led the Broken Arrow woman to her new mission - to break the silence about suicide.

Benedict-Dickey is not embarrassed by her daughter, nor of the way she died.

But when strangers learn that 22-year-old Chelsea Parnell shot herself, "that puts a dead stop to the conversation."

"Had she died of cancer, diabetes or something, there would have been some understanding," Benedict-Dickey said. "Mental illness is no different than diabetes or cancer. It is a brain disease."

She is one of two mothers whose children committed suicide who will speak at Broken Arrow South Intermediate High School's second annual Suicide Prevention Forum 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the school cafeteria, 301 W. New Orleans St. Two South students will also speak about how suicide affected them.

Nationwide, one person dies of suicide every 15.8 minutes. It is the 11th leading cause of death nationally and the third leading cause among youth and young adults ages 15 to 24, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Suicide is nearly always the result of untreated or undertreated mental illness,
the group said.

The forum came out of a 10th-grade English class project last year, according to teacher Kristin Gillespie.

She and fellow teacher Amy Mundis-Lindhorst assigned students to read a book called "Tears of a Tiger," which features the suicide of a main character. They then asked students to research risk factors and warning signs of suicide. Finally, the class held its first forum.

"We had a good response. One student said he was able to talk to friends who had talked about suicide because of this," Gillespie said.

She said the forum is a way to dispel myths and let people know what signs to look for to prevent suicide.

As Miss Wagoner County, Gillespie's platform in her run for Miss Oklahoma is suicide prevention. She once had a boyfriend who attempted suicide and, in her first year of teaching, one of her students succeeded.

"I don't want to go to another one of my students' funerals," Gillespie said. "We're trying to break the silence. People say if you talk about it, you cause it. That's not true. Or if someone says they want to commit suicide, they don't really mean it. Also not true. We don't know who we might be saving."

Benedict-Dickey said she, too, wants to get the facts out about suicide.

"Prior to my daughter's suicide, I myself used to say, 'How selfish of that person,' " she said. "But it's not a selfish act. This person is suffering."

It is like a cup filled to the brim with pain, and then it overflows, she said.

"As bad as I hurt from not having her, I can't imagine in my wildest dreams how bad the pain was for her," Benedict-Dickey said.

Her daughter was diagnosed with depression when she was a junior in high school and was treated with antidepressants. She had a recurrence six months before her death but appeared to be dealing with it successfully.

"Chelsea had never attempted suicide before. She was so determined," Benedict-Dickey said. It just shows how deep her pain was. She took acetaminophen first, drank some alcohol and slit both wrists. In the end, she used a gun, she said.

She said she didn't feel like anybody could possibly understand her pain until she joined a suicide support group in Tulsa. Now she and two other mothers have founded a support group in Broken Arrow.

"It's a hurt like no other," Benedict-Dickey said. "You will never have answers as to why."





Second annual Suicide Prevention Forum

Who: South Intermediate High School, Broken Arrow

Where: School cafeteria, 301 W. New Orleans, Broken Arrow

When: 6:30 p.m.

What: The forum will focus on risk factors associated with suicide and help the community develop strategies for suicide prevention among Broken Arrow youth. There is no cost to attend the forum.





Suicide support groups