Anybody who knows anything about law enforcement will tell you that suicide among police professionals is a serious problem.
But it’s not just cops. More Americans are taking their own lives than ever before. (see statistics at the end of this article.)
Meet Alaska State Representative Don Young.
Mr. Young should not be allowed to speak to young people about anything, especially suicide, ever again.
Alaska has the highest per capita suicide rate in the U.S
A student at Wasilla high school committed suicide just a week before Young spoke to a student assembly.
He went completely off the rails which is not uncommon in Alaska politics.
During the speech to the grief-stricken high school kids, he basically said it was the victim’s family and the students that were the ones to blame.
Young has since apologized after telling students that people kill themselves when there is a lack of support from family and friends. He told another audience suicide stems from government handouts. In politics you never want to lose an opportunity to use other people’s pain for your gain.
‘‘He was talking about the role alcohol plays, and he mentioned depression,’’ Wasilla High School principal Amy Spargo told reporters with the Boston Globe.
‘‘But he also went on to say that suicide happens when there’s a lack of support from friends and family, and that’s when the students in the room and the adults just took offense, because it’s like blaming the people who are left.’’
One of the kids in the audience wasn’t having it. He said the congressman didn’t understand depression or suicide and bravely told him so.
The congressman responded, “Well, what, do you just go to the doctor and get diagnosed with suicide?” according to the Alaska Dispatch News
According to school officials, Young also used profanity on several occasions and told a story about getting drunk in Paris.
This is why crazy old men should not be allowed to speak to young people about anything- even if they’re in or running for political office.
Police officers, agencies and associations have enough on their plate when it comes to finding ways to keep cops from taking their own lives.
But it doesn’t help when ignorant morons like Young are the ones you hear talking about mental health issues in the media.
Consider the following statistics against the ignorance of a politician that would use a student’s death for his own gain:
In 2010 in the United States there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides. (CDC figures.)
From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent.
During that same period suicide rates jumped by nearly 50 percent among men in their 50s.
Suicides among women ages 60 to 64 increased by nearly 60 percent, to 7.0 per 100,000.
It’s an epidemic. And it’s health care professionals that should be addressing the issue with cops, kids and others- not some idiot that somehow still has access to a microphone and political power.