Uranus-Pluto square: Technology takes on suicide – 43 replies

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    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 8, 2012
    Uranus-Pluto square: Technology takes on suicide
    A few days ago, the following article caught my eye, and I began to wonder what might have prompted this discovery now versus any other time. And then I started thinking: Technology. That’s Uranus. What about suicide? It hit me, and I think it’s because of the first sentence in the article. Pluto.

    U.S. Military Tackles High Rate of Suicides With an App
    October 5, 2012
    by Joann Pan

    More U.S. military service members have died from suicide than enemy fire, roadside bombs and injuries sustained during combat this year.

    What does the article have to do with Scorpio, much less astrology? Well, this is where it gets really interesting–at least for me. Scorpio, home to Pluto in the natural zodiac, sits in the 8th house of that natural zodiacal chart. The 8th house has to do with joint finances, sexuality, insurance (okay, so now we’re starting to get warm, maybe, pretty cold still, but warmer than the first two), research (certainly that could point in this direction), the underworld (now think about this: this isn’t just the criminal element we think of as in the Al Capone era and the St. Valentine’s Day massacre; this is the criminal element as in Al Qaeda and the Taliban and more), and death by any means including war, terrorism, suicide and natural causes. The 8th house is one of the terminal houses.

    Any time I’ve ever seen the potential for small or even large scale death from energies like I’ve just mentioned, the involvement of the 4th, 8th and/or 12th houses is always present, although I’ve never seen it happen in the chart I’m examining where all three would be simultaneously involved at first glance. On the other hand, I remember seeing it in my own Lunar Return when I looked back after my mom died. Now the 8th house doesn’t have to have that kind of energy as visibly as Pluto or Uranus sitting there. It could be Venus or Saturn or Mercury or even the Moon. The 8th house simply has to be there, active, or activated, and involved.

    As you read the article (I’ll provide the URL), note this sentence as well, “After experiencing war-related trauma, active-duty service members and veterans often face debilitating mental-health issues — including post-traumatic stress disorder [my addition here: PTSD], anxiety, depression and suicide ideation.” I considered this too since PTSD and anxiety can be related to the 12th house, where one might seek counseling or spiritual guidance perhaps. Obsession with death might be more related to the 8th house again, but I’m not that convinced that it would be a clear-cut focus of the 8th since the obsession itself could just as easily be related to the 4th or the 12th. Where is Pluto? Pluto is obsessive.

    No surprise perhaps, the article goes on to say, “one of the distinguishing characteristics of suicidal patients is being able to recite more reasons to die than to live.” But what about the therapy and behavioral changes discussed in the article? Can psychotherapy do something to modify behaviors? That too would be an 8th house thing as much as would be a 12th house thing, depending on the causes, the background, maybe even the degree of this kind of thinking.

    I suppose obsessive thinking directs all of us at one time or another in our lives. Before I quit smoking, I saw no reason to quit, not even after I had fought for my life from the cancer. But it wasn’t really what was going on with me. I had convinced myself that I had survived, that I was expecting a different kind of cancer than I had when I was diagnosed. But the day my doctor told me, “The next time you get cancer, it will be harder for us to save you,” something clicked deep inside. Every single cigarette I had lit up during the next week, I suddenly saw as this symbol of death, watching me, waiting. Now maybe that seems overly dramatic and just plain weird, but it wasn’t. Whatever those words did to me psychologically, they took. My mind automatically went into overdrive, and I would light that next cigarette and think, “This could be the one that kills me.”

    That was the turning point I needed to stop the process of smoking and start living again. It wasn’t that easy, of course. But on February 9, 2008, I was done with a habit I had burned into my system for far too long. Six months later, I had attempted to bypass that process by what I called “puffing.” No inhaling. The doctor explained that it was like inhaling second hand smoke, and that was it again, and that’s where it’s been since then.

    I’m telling you this because I think we all have tendencies in one way or another. The obsession to die. The obsession to smoke, to drink, to do anything to excess. Smoking doesn’t kill everyone, but some people remember speaking to me on the phone when I was still smoking, and I couldn’t catch my breath; they thought I would die while speaking to them. Sometimes I got scared of that too. Drinking. Not everyone becomes an alcoholic, but some will die from alcohol poisoning. So what does this have to do with suicide prevention in the American military?

    I think the concept of the obsession itself is the key. Whether we’re talking about suicide or about smoking, drinking, or some other focus of our attention to what can be considered clinically abnormal, unhealthy, that kind of thing, we are talking about an area that may benefit from behavior modification therapy. That’s something the US military apparently also figured out according to the article. “It would be ideal for active-duty service members to undergo counseling or diagnosis testing while still deployed on combat missions. T2 hopes mobile technology can reach soldiers around the world.”

    It will, of course, be interesting to see whether this technological idea actually works as well as it looks like it will. At least it sounds good on paper.

    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungJan 6, 2013
    Frankly, I couldn’t decide whether to put this in the Malala thread, this one, or the gang rape thread. This just felt like the most logical place, but I worry that I’ll be dotting back and forth in my effort to do the weaving as this new subject shows up. If I stuck with the gang rape thread, load of valuable information might otherwise be lot. It seems best here no matter what kinds of rationalization I do to move it.

    The following picture showed up in one of my least favorites today. By now you probably know which one. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out. Still it’s a story that needs to be shared as well, so I’m sharing:
    Gulabi Gang
    “This is pretty much as badass as imaginable–

    “The Gulabi gang (from Hindi gulabi, “pink”, transln. “pink gang”) is a group of women vigilantes and activists originally from Banda in Bundelkhand district, Uttar Pradesh, India, but reported to be active across North India as of 2010. It is named after the pink saris worn by its members.

    The gang was founded in 2006 by Sampat Pal Devi, a mother
    of five and former government health worker (and a former child bride), as a response to widespread domestic abuse and other violence against women. Gulabis visit abusive husbands and beat them up with laathis (bamboo sticks) unless they stop abusing their wives. In 2008, they stormed an electricity office in Banda district and forced officials to turn back the power they had cut in order to extract bribes. They have also stopped child marriages and protested dowry and female illiteracy.””

    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 8, 2012
    Here’s the full article, but take time to go to the article if it’s still available when you read this. There are additional story links provided:

    U.S. Military Tackles High Rate of Suicides With an App

    U.S. Military Tackles High Rate of Suicides With an App
    October 5, 2012
    by Joann Pan

    More U.S. military service members have died from suicide than enemy fire, roadside bombs and injuries sustained during combat this year.

    As 2.4 million Americans who fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan prepare to return from combat, U.S. military entities are struggling to tackle the rising number of suicides, according to an NPR report. After experiencing war-related trauma, active-duty service members and veterans often face debilitating mental-health issues — including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and suicide ideation.

    Suicide remains a top cause of death among active-duty personnel and veterans. For years, the Department of Defense has tried to find a solution to the problem plaguing troops.

    Dr. Nigel Bush, a clinical psychologist with the DOD’s The National Center for Telehealth and Technology, or T2, believes reforming a classic suicide-prevention tactic could be the solution.

    One strategy medical health practitioners use to redirect a distressed individual’s attention towards wanting to live is creating a “hope box.” Doctors and patients work together to fill a shoe box with reminders of reasons to live. It becomes a repository of images and important items that reminds them of loved ones, accomplishments and future aspirations.

    Patients with suicidal thoughts can feel hopeless, like there’s no way out. Dr. Bush tells Mashable that one of the distinguishing characteristics of suicidal patients is being able to recite more reasons to die than to live. Clinical therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy are both effective ways to counter this state of mind, according to Dr. Bush.

    “It tries to teach patients to identify positive outcomes and to try to modify their thoughts and behaviors to increase the likelihood of thinking and perceiving positive events,” Dr. Bush says.

    Dr. Bush believes creating a Virtual Hope Box app could make the “hope box” portable and accessible to service members who are deployed or veterans who live far away from V.A. hospitals and clinics where counseling services are available.

    Getting help to those who need it in time is pertinent to saving lives, according to researchers. Since providers are “somewhat clustered in locations,” help isn’t always available in moments of crisis, T2′s public affairs officer Joe Jimenez tells Mashable.

    “People either don’t want to go into the office or they physically can’t because they are hundreds of miles away,” Jimenez says. “If they are in treatment that requires them to go back at least once a week, that could be very difficult to do, which causes a high dropout.”

    It would be ideal for active-duty service members to undergo counseling or diagnosis testing while still deployed on combat missions. T2 hopes mobile technology can reach soldiers around the world.

    “We were looking at a broad community that’s worldwide and very active, deployed a lot of the time for combat missions as well as missions around the world,” Jimenez says. “We had to look at everything to try to develop products and services to help this very large diverse community.

    T2 has about 27 health-related mobile apps in the works or already available on Apple and Android markets for U.S. military, National Guard and Reserve members.

    Smartphone penetration within the U.S. Military community mirrors the rate civilians are using them (more than 60%).

    T2 plans to provide all service men and women with smartphones to facilitate mobile “telehealth” programs enabling video-conferencing with therapists and counselors in the future. The apps and virtual reality therapy experiences will be prescribed and regulated by licensed psychologists working with troops.

    Plans to “equip all service members with smartphones” will also give them access to apps and mobile health programs like the Virtual Hope Box.

    Virtual Hope Box

    The Virtual Hope Box app is designed to help active service members and veterans struggling with suicidal thoughts. The app mimics physical hope boxes used currently in suicide-prevention treatments.

    “It’s tailor-made for a military population of patients — active duty and veterans,” Dr. Bush says.

    Unlike a physical shoe box, the app is portable and unlimited in space. The Virtual Hope Box app includes important contact information and connections to suicide hotlines for emergencies. The app will also provide “distraction” games, coping cards designed by licensed psychologists, inspirational quotes and guides to relaxation exercises (breathing exercises). It’s built to discourage hopelessness and thoughts of suicide.

    The app prototype is still going under review and extensive testing. The technology research center comprised of clinical psychologists, researchers, designers and specialists will work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) to test the app with military patients. It’s projected to be on the market at the end of next summer or October 2013, the latest.


    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 8, 2012
    After posting the first portion of this thread earlier today (now yesterday), I got curious about the role technology plays: Is it conducive to prevention of suicide, or does it actually help to increase the suicide rates instead? Some of these links are just that, links. There’s no way to offer the entire text, for example, to a free 1900-page book! It’s not fun reading, mind you, it may be radical in thinking; but I tried to consider various approaches. Hopefully, those of you who are interested will find additional avenues to such thought useful in your research.

    This series of additional items I’ve found begins with a post by a mother who asks whether technology is the problem. I had the feeling that she was looking to absolve parents of the blame… But you know what? She had some things to consider. And what I found as well was more validation of this 4/8/12 house concept although perhaps other things were related too. After all, Uranus (technology) is also an 11th house issue, and if we’re talking about illness, perhaps we need to be looking at the 6th house too. Hmmm…brings us up to five houses already, doesn’t it? How about higher education and theology? That makes six houses because that would be a 9th house concern.

    Cyberbullying, Teen Suicide and Technology
    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 9:48pm

    Since writing the letter about cyberbullying, I have seen many posts about the recent suicides. They all had a slightly different take on the subject. I have read a few
    that said that it is not a technology issue, which as a parent left me feeling a bit defensive. It is a technology issue – kids are using computers, phones, webcams, gaming devices to communicate in some negative ways – right?
    So before I got angry, I stepped back for a moment. Why are they saying that technology is not the issue? Well, for every device there is something parents can do.
    –For computers, there is “parental control” (for lack of a better word) software that parents can install (Mcafee Family Protection). [Sept. 20, 2015: This is not free.]
    –For phones, parents can simply ask the phone company to block features, callers, texting, etc – or for very advanced phones there are parental control apps to install.
    –For newer gaming devices all come with some type of parental controls built right in – parents just need to turn them on. Even games with inappropriate content all have ratings alerting parents.
    But we, as parents, need to know what to do and how to turn it on. We need to know what we are protecting our kids from and teaching them not to do.
    Bullying is not new. It has been around probably as long as there have been humans. What is new, is the way bullying is being done. It is really easy in the U.S. to point the finger at someone else and say this is the fault of “X”.
    It is the fault of the technology creator. It is the fault of the schools for not intervening. It is the fault of the social network for not making the website safe for kids. The truth is that for every piece of technology, the technology is there to help parents protect their kids.
    Schools can not intervene if the bullying is happening on the computer or on a cell phone(not on school grounds). Social networks are just as new as cyberbullying and they are creating fixes as best they can.
    This is what I believe: I am the parent. It is my responsibility to protect and nurture my child. It is my responsibility to teach my kids how to stay safe online. It is my responsibility to make sure the content they see online and in games is age appropriate. I need to teach them not to share too much information online. It is my job to teach them to treat others with respect and dignity. They need to trust me enough to come to me when they are in trouble or when someone is unkind.
    This is a technology issue, a parenting issue, a manners issue and a morals issue. We all have a part to play and a responsibility to uphold.
    If you are a parent or have kids in your life and you need help, ask me. I don’t want one more kid to slip through the cracks because someone didn’t know how to help. Leave a comment below and I will point you in the right direction.
    Stay safe out there!

    What do you think? Parents? Technology? Is technology both the problem and the solution? I think of the

    Rutgers cyber-bullying trial starts Friday
    New York Daily News
    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    The highly anticipated trial of a former Rutgers University freshman accused of cyber-bullying his gay roommate three days before he committed suicide is set to begin Friday.
    A 12-person jury in New Jersey will decide the fate of Dharun Ravi, 19, who allegedly used a
    webcam to spy on Tyler Clementi’s trysts with another man. Ravi, known as a computer whiz, turned to Twitter tell others how they could watch one of the hookups, though footage was never broadcast.

    Trial for Rutgers student accused of cyber-bullying his gay roommate, who later committed suicide, begins Friday

    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 8, 2012
    There have, at least, been improvements at Rutgers since the death of Tyler Clementi, among them the efforts toward suicide prevention and trained support systems from staff and faculty to gay friendly peers:

    Since Suicide, More Resources for Transgender and Gay Students
    By Ariel Kaminer
    Published; September 21, 2012

    NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — It has been two years since Tyler Clementi, a gay freshman at Rutgers University, committed suicide after learning that his roommate had ridiculed his sexuality and invited friends to spy on him and another man through a webcam. That terrible episode brought the school national attention, none of it welcome: previously known as a large and diverse state school, Rutgers became associated with homophobia and cruelty.

    But today, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and their supporters can choose from four specialized housing options, three of them new, ranging from a service to pair them with like-minded roommates to Rainbow Perspectives, a floor in a residence hall organized around common interests. They can now turn for support to the 130 staff and faculty members who have been trained as official campus liaisons, or to the graduates of a new training program for “allies,” whose inaugural session is already booked to capacity. This year’s edition of a handbook that lists campus resources for “queer issues” is 92 pages long.

    And this week, Campus Pride, an organization that rates schools based on the inclusiveness of their policies, upgraded Rutgers’s main campus in New Brunswick to the maximum rating, five stars. Out of the 32 possible categories in which a school can distinguish itself, Rutgers scored in 31.

    Rutgers has a long history of inclusiveness; when the Rutgers Homophile League was founded in 1969, for example, it was among the first such student groups in the nation. But since Mr. Clementi’s death on Sept. 22, 2010, the university has increased its efforts, propelled by a vocal campus community, an energetic administrator and an urgent need for damage control.

    Even some of the students have been startled by the strength of Rutgers’s embrace.

    In 2011, shortly before the start of her first year at Rutgers, Nicole Margolies was talking with a housing supervisor when she blurted out: “I’m transgender, and I don’t know what to do about it. Where do I go?” Nick, as the student is now known, feared he might not even be allowed on campus. Instead, he said, when he got there the name on his dorm room door was up-to-date. His professors addressed him as “he.” And no one made him feel it was anything other than normal.

    “Boom,” he said. “Mind blown.”

    At the center of all this activity is Jenny Kurtz, the head of the Rutgers Center for Social Justice Education and L.G.B.T. Communities. Speaking in mile-a-minute uptalk, she sounds like an especially caffeinated undergraduate. But with her blonde bob, oversize dark glasses and stacked heels, she looks more like a junior Hollywood agent and stands out easily on a laid-back campus of baseball hats and jeans.

    Ms. Kurtz said one of the big priorities of her job was to “create allies” — people whose identities do not correspond to any of the initials in her portfolio, but who consider themselves friendly to the cause or causes and want to learn more about how to

    That effort, which as with the center’s other projects comes out of a discretionary budget of $70,000 this year (up from $40,500 the year before Mr. Clementi died), seems to be wildly successful. In addition to those oversubscribed training programs, she said she could not even
    print up “ally” lapel pins fast enough; as soon as she sets out a thousand, people snatch them up and ask for more.

    But beyond gay and transgender students themselves, and the concentric circle of those who actively position themselves as allies, it is not clear how far the center’s message has gotten. Ms. Kurtz said she had yet to meet anyone who was less than supportive.

    But Rutgers is, after all, a university of 59,000 students across several campuses.

    Stefan Koekemoer, a medieval studies major who graduated last year, said he heard numerous homophobic slurs over the years. “I almost followed these two dudes because they were snickering and pointing” at a gay friend, he said.

    Mr. Koekemoer, who is heterosexual, said he himself was sometimes called an antigay slur, even during classes.

    Robert S. Goopio, the president of Rutgers’s chapter of Delta Lambda Phi, a predominantly gay fraternity, said “the culture might have been different a few years ago.” Since Mr. Clementi’s death, he speculated, “a lot of people who might be homophobic probably won’t say so because
    of the consequences they can see can happen.”

    Some of that change may also reflect events that have occurred in a remarkable span in the history of American sexuality. Two years ago, President Obama had not yet endorsed same-sex marriage and New York State had not yet legalized it (New Jersey still has civil unions). The military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy had not yet been repealed, and the Army had not yet promoted an openly lesbian general.

    And Dharun Ravi, the student who spied on Mr. Clementi, had not been convicted of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, though his 30-day jail sentence was criticized by some gay-rights advocates as too lenient.

    In just that short span, being a gay college student may have come to mean something slightly, but crucially, different than it did when Mr. Clementi arrived on campus.

    “I’m from South Jersey, and it’s a rather homophobic area,” said Andrew Massaro, a junior and a Delta Lambda Phi brother. “But when I got here I realized word is spreading, and it’s spreading fast.”

    The result is a university where, some students say, the presence of highly visible gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students has become just a basic and unexceptional part of campus life.

    Rainbow Perspectives includes not just students who, because of their sexual or gender identity, felt out of place in a traditional dorm. It also includes heterosexual students who like the company.

    So Jeff Thomas, a junior, lives there with his girlfriend — which would be against the rules in a traditional dormitory, where students can room only with those of the same legal gender. And Nick Margolies, now a sophomore, lives there with a male roommate — which also would be
    against the rules for the same reason. Delta Lambda Phi now has both its first transgender member and its first straight member.

    Leonard Haas, a fellow fraternity member, said he once heard a homophobic taunt at Rutgers as he walked down the street holding another man’s hand. But because Mr. Haas felt so comfortable as a gay man at Rutgers, and because that stray comment was so much at odds with the warm reception he had otherwise received, he shrugged it off.

    “I’m happy,” he said, “I’m in a good place, it doesn’t matter.”
    This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
    Correction: September 28, 2012
    An article on Saturday about an increase in resources for gay students at Rutgers University since the suicide of Tyler Clementi two years ago, using information from the university, erroneously attributed a distinction to a gay student group there. While the university was among the first to have such a group (founded in 1969), the Rutgers Homophile League is not “the second such student group in the nation.”

    A version of this article appeared in print on September 22, 2012, on page A18 of the New York edition with the headline: Since Suicide, More Resources For Transgender And Gay Students.

    ©2012 The New York Times Company

    PLEASE NOTE: These articles are not copied to take the copyrights, rather to keep the focus of this highly important series of articles together. Please respect the individual copyrights and visit the respective sites where you can. Thank you.

    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 8, 2012
    I’ve offered the above-noted article in its entirety so those of you who would like to know more about the Tyler Clementi story and what happened back then (2010) can have a starting base to read and a clear understanding of why and who the major players were. I hope it helps.

    The US Office of Justice National Institute of Justice offers research, development and evaluation of, among other things, suicide. On their page, I found the following:

    Suicide Watch Technologies Could Improve Monitoring, Reduce Staff Time
    The suicide rate in jails and prisons has been going down [1], but it remains a troubling problem and traditional suicide watch requires dedicated staffing, taking officers away from
    other duties.

    An automated suicide warning system is a cost-effective, non-invasive approach to behavior monitoring, and more proactive than waiting for a suicidal attempt to justify the added personnel required for a suicide watch.

    NIJ has supported the development of a system, and now is funding an evaluation in an operational facility, that can measure an inmate’s heart rate, breathing rate and body
    motions without being attached to the individual. A wall-mounted range controlled radar (RCR) system — originally designed for home security motion detectors — measures subtle motions on the body’s surface caused by heart and lung activity. Alarms are activated when the system detects suspicious changes in heart rate, breathing rate or body motion.

    The potential benefits for agencies implementing a suicide watch technology are compelling. Corrections agencies should, of course, review their policies, and any applicable legal issues, before placing inmates under electronic surveillance. Potential benefits include:

    ** Less obtrusive, less prone to destruction.
    A key feature of the device is that it is less obtrusive. Inmates are prone to tamper with or destroy monitoring devices but a device that does not require physical contact with the prisoner could make tampering or destruction less likely.
    ** Detect disguised suicide attempts.
    Correctional officers mistake cleverly disguised suicide attempts as normal behavior.. An automated system could safeguard against human error.
    ** Provide continuous monitoring.
    An inmate under traditional suicide watch typically is checked on by corrections staff every fifteen minutes. Even with this intense effort by corrections facilities, inmates still have ample time to commit or attempt suicide. Monitoring technology can provide continuous surveillance to supplement the visual inspections and alert officers quickly to any attempt.
    ** Fewer people needed to staff suicide watch.
    By installing these devices, prisons may be able to reduce the number of officers needed to monitor prisoners, freeing staff for other corrections tasks.
    ** Watch more prisoners at risk.
    An automated system could be installed to monitor inmates who are at high risk, such as those on suicide watch or new prisoners
    awaiting trial.

    —About the System
    The radar-based system, being developed under an award to GE Global Research Center, consists of:
    ** “Personal health status” sensors that can be enclosed in a box on the ceiling to remotely and non-invasively monitor inmates’ pulse and breathing.
    ** Network connections to remote monitors.
    ** Software designed to interpret motion data and create a decision tree for when to notify officers.
    [1] Suicide and Homicide in State Prisons and Local Jails, Bureau of Justice Statistics, April 2005.

    Date Modified: January 12, 2012

    Monitoring Inmates – Suicide Watch

    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 9, 2012
    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have also served as a major resource for suicide prevention, awareness and education. Their references are absolutely amazing!

    Brief quotes only here. The references are remarkable for those who may find them of use:

    Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24,
    and every year hundreds of thousands of young people engage in self-harm
    incidents [2]. Many young people display red-flag behaviors in the
    digital world before these incidents occur. The faceless nature of
    online communication often emboldens children to reveal details about
    their state of mind: leaving tell-tale indicators or “bread crumbs” of
    their well-being. If parents, educators, and mentors are aware of the
    risk factors and warning signs, connected technology can help them take
    an active role in promoting healthy behavior and intervening in dangerous situations.

    Risk Factors and Warning Signs are listed.
    Upstander Action
    Reduce Risk Factors

    If you notice a young person struggling with depression
    or alcohol/drug abuse, if you suspect they are being sexually or
    physically abused, or if you witness or hear about emotional abuse,
    especially in the form of cyberbullying—intervene. There is something
    you can do to help. Talk to parents, talk to teachers, and take risk
    factors seriously. If cyberbullying is occurring, make sure school
    officials know about it. Risk factors are whole-community issues. They
    must be addressed on multiple levels.
    Increase Factors for Prevention

    Studies show that young people who feel connected with their families
    and communities are less likely to engage in suicidal or self-harm
    behaviors. [7]
    Encourage young people to make healthy and supportive
    friends through involvement in school or other community groups and
    projects. Do what you can to help young people integrate with their
    When appropriate, connect with young people online. If you suspect
    risk factors, or encounter suicide warning signs, you can help young
    people get the help they need—whether it be counselling, peer support or
    parental/teacher involvement.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010, August 24).
    Suicide: Prevention Strategies. Retrieved from
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Facts at a Glance. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/Suicide_DataSheet-a.pdf
    National Institute of Mental Health. (2010, September 27). Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics and Prevention. Retrieved from
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009, October 15). Suicide Prevention: Youth Suicide. Retrieved from
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. (n.d.). What are the Warning Signs for Suicide? Retrieved from
    Hutchison, P. (2011, January 6). Facebook ‘friends’ mock ‘suicide’
    of woman who posted goodbye message. The Daily Telagraph. Retrieved from
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d). Strategic
    Direction for the Prevention of Suicidal Behavior: Promoting Individual,
    Family, and Community Connectedness to Prevent Suicidal Behavior.
    Retrieved from
    iKeepSafe, Copyright 2011-2012

    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 9, 2012
    The above article was presented as yet another means of using technology for detection and intervention.

    There is another excellent five-page article in pdf format by David D. Luxton, Ph.D. of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury in Tacoma, Washington. The article addresses Technology Based Suicide Prevention: Current Applications and Future Directions. In order to make it easy for those of you who would like to see more, I’ll paste in the link for the download here:


    At the end of 2011, Forbes’ celeb writer Violet Blue offered the following in commentary. This too is superb:

    Tech’s Relationship With Depression, Suicide and Asperger’s
    Summary: In 2011 tech increased its awareness about depression and suicide, highlit by tragedy.
    By Violet Blue for Pulp Tech | December 29, 2011 — 20:53 GMT (12:53 PST)

    The article is too long for insertion here, but it’s well worth your time to read this as well.

    Thankfully, the efforts to achieve better numbers in suicide prevention have been out there many years already, as shown by the following abstract. This too I can’t put in here because there are to many links that anyone working with this research may wish to consider, especially in historic perspectives.

    Suicide rates in people of South Asian origin in England and Wales:


    There are at least 16 references to pdfs in this abstract. It’s priceless and allows one more continuity in backtracking even further to the last one I found from JStor, written in January 1999 about the period in the 1980s India, “Suicide Deaths and Quality of Indian Cotton.” I know. I wondered about a title like that too. But C. Shambu Prasad has done a marvelous historic tie-in back to the 1790s to offer a complete overview to a large-scale suicide of over 300 cotton farmers in AP, and earlier suicides in Guntur and Prakasam in 1986 and 1987. It’s a brilliantly researched piece.

    Registration is free to read the entire article online. You only have to pay if you want to download it.

    From my perspective as an astrologer, I cannot see a way around that 4/8/12 foundation. But then, I’m not sorry from my own perspectives that I started there. We have tie-ins to other houses still. It’s just that if we’re looking at the end point, we need to consider these options. If we’re looking at the starting point too, for that matter, there will also be no way around such things. All else may not be extraneous, but it will offer additional perspectives.

    I hope anyone interested in these thoughts and the astrological perspectives, the medical/psychiatric/psychological perspectives, or even the historic, academic or any other facets of this research would share their thoughts here as well.

    Michelle Young

    Irene - Orkut shot Irene D’SilvaOct 9, 2012
    Interesting article, Michelle. I used to follow the Tyler Clementi suicide case when it was one of the hot items in the news. The one who drove Tyler to do such horrifying thing being Indian made me even more curious about the end result. Soon after this incident took place I believe President Obama made some statements about bullying. It’s so sad to see that something as powerful as technology is being used for things like this. Unfortunately cyber bullying is increasing day by day…

    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 9, 2012
    One of the reasons I offered that article about Tyler Clementi’s suicide was technology’s role because this particular incident set the stage for the suicide. I think it’s wonderful that technology is now being used to find solutions. It offers the options…

    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 10, 2012
    Somewhere in my mind, it seems like there’s a vast difference between the terrorist act of a suicide bomber and the suicide as a means of removal from life (intentional phrasing here). Both affect us all in some way. We’re left with the angst and mourning and self-recrimination if it’s someone we knew. We’re left with the horror of the situation regardless of whether we knew the individual or not because suicide is the moment of merging the thought that this was the ultimate goal. I suppose this is why I focus more on the 8th house than I do on the 4th or the 12th. Whether or not the individual possesses an inner framework of theology, s/he will ultimately have crossed that 8th house into the 9th in the process of considering the act. At least I can’t imagine that not taking place–even if a Higher Power isn’t part of the belief system.

    Is there a difference between seeing the perspectives from the 8th versus the 12th or 4th houses? Yes. Even though there will be a strong bond among many who choose to end their lives based on depression, it is not the only bond from what I see. Even suicide by terrorism, which may not have that component we call depression, seems to be more likely associated with what might be called theological violence, and it seems to me that we may be missing theology as that across-the-board tie. Now I’m not a doctor or a psychologist or a psychiatrist or even a sociologist. I’m just an astrologer. But surely our thoughts as we encounter this concept would lead to the matter of life after death, of whether we are confronting something/someone beyond, or this is really all there is.

    I’m not suggesting that theology may be all we need. It’s not. Surely the depression would stop many if help were within reach. But what if the individual is neither depressed nor a proponent of terrorist thought? How do you solve that one? I don’t think we can without encountering the 9th house and theological concepts.

    While we’re on the subject, I think it’s wise to share the vast
    compendium of resource links available to anyone who wants to learn
    what’s being done in the USA, around the world… It’s a matter of
    working together to resolve the problem, thinking out of the box by
    taking the box out of the picture altogether. It’s not a pretty picture.
    I get that. But it’s one we need to address and do so, head on.


    I’ll post more, but this is simply an amazing site.

    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 10, 2012
    Just out of curiosity tonight, I decided to see what March and McEvers had to say about the Uranus-Pluto square. I should have looked before this. Although the following is related to the natal chart, there are obvious connections to the things we can see taking place in the mundane perspective as well. I think this particular aspect represents a great example of courageous effort even when the challenges appear overwhelming. We’ve seen in now-14-yo Malala Yousafzai who took on the Taliban for the last three years in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Today, she’s fighting for her life because she stood up and had the courage to protest the effort to stop education of girls there. This too is the Uranus-Pluto square (I’ll post an editorial related to this story in Incoming: Astrology Domine! because it offers more on the subject that should be brought out without detracting from the message of this thread):

    “You can be a political idealist, fighting injustice, or you can be the procrastinator who lets Johnny do it. Your nature is rather thoughtless, impatient and combative. You have an intense sense of self-preservation and an inability to compromise. Women with this position tend to resent the inferior role they feel is allotted to them.”

    Coincidentally, the late Teddy (Edward M.) Kennedy had this square in his natal chart, and he built his career on creating solid change that actually accomplished something in the government rather than making people feel he was just another politician.

    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 10, 2012
    In the Huffington Post in 2010, the following article appeared on technology and whether a new technology could help. I don’t think we can look at this without considering the points addressed here either, not to mention the additional links provided:

    Suicide Prevention: Can a New Technology Help?

    Posted: 05/18/10 09:55 AM ET
    By Wray Herbert

    Suicide is both disturbing and perplexing to survivors, in part
    because it is so unpredictable. People who are intent on killing
    themselves often conceal their thoughts or outright deny them, so family
    and friends are left puzzling over warning signs they might have
    Even experienced clinical judgment often misses the mark. As a
    result, suicide experts have long hoped and searched for a clear
    behavioral marker of suicide risk. Now they may have found one. Harvard
    University scientists are reporting that a tool widely used for probing
    unconscious thoughts might be used to spot suicidal intent–even if the suicidal mind is in denial–offering new hope for timely intervention to keep people alive.
    Psychological scientists Matthew Nock and Mahzarin Banaji (working
    with colleagues at both Harvard and nearby Massachusetts General
    Hospital) decided to adapt a decade-old test called the Implicit
    Association Test, or IAT, to plumb for warning signs of suicide.
    Specifically, he wanted to see if people who are suicidal might have
    stronger implicit associations between themselves and
    death–associations that might point toward self-destructive intentions.
    To find out, he tested 157 people seeking treatment in a psychiatric
    emergency room. The patients were all emotionally distressed, but only
    some were in the hospital because of attempted suicide. The scientists
    wanted to see if the IAT could distinguish those who had attempted
    suicide from those who had not.
    The IAT is a reaction time test. During their hospital stay, often
    while sitting in bed, the patients very rapidly classified words on a
    computer screen, words like: lifeless, thrive, myself, deceased, they,
    theirs, survive, breathing. And so forth. The idea is to see how rapidly
    patients connect identity-related words to either life or death words.
    And the findings were unambiguous. As reported in the April issue of the journal Psychological Science, patients who had attempted suicide prior to admission had much stronger unconscious associations between self and death.
    But the study didn’t end there. Nock followed all the patients for
    six months to see how they fared, and he found that the patients with a
    powerful self-death association in the hospital had a six-fold increase
    in later suicide attempts. Six-fold is a dramatic difference, and what’s
    more, the unconscious associations were a much better suicide predictor
    than depression, previous suicide attempts, or the intuition of the attending clinician.
    What about the patients’ own predictions? Fourteen of the emergency
    patients attempted suicide within six months of leaving the hospital.
    Their self-evaluations were an indicator of their future risk,
    but an imperfect indicator. The IAT results were a better prognosticator
    even than the patients’ self-evaluations. This suggests that
    unconscious thoughts might be a useful detector and predictor of
    intentions that patients are reluctant to discuss–or intentions of
    which they themselves are unaware.
    Copyright © 2012 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.

    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 11, 2012
    And from Canadian news, my only thoughts keep running through my head: Where were we? Could we have done anything? Why wasn’t she heard among the billions who visit YouTube each day? Bullying resulted in her taking her life. When will it stop? She took her life yesterday, the 10th of October, in the Vancouver, British Columbia area. One member of this community comes from the same community near Vancouver. The area is so lovely. I haven’t seen the longest of the three videos. Part of the silent video the girl broadcast was shown in the top video on the page. Her dialogue was written, and her face was hidden. People knew. The newscasters interviewed her gym coach.

    Yes, when does it stop? This isn’t about the United States of America or Canada or India. This is a global problem. Please, everyone, let’s brainstorm and try to do our part on what we can do to help. As I began this thread, the Uranus-Pluto square should be representing, as it does astrologically, a time for us to stand up and ask what indeed we can do. Not in a fruitless question, but one that bears fruit: What can I personally do to help? Will my being an ear even give a start? I’d have to answer, “It can’t hurt. It’s a start.” But there’s more. What else? Anyone? Please get involved and speak up about this epidemic situation!

    B.C. girl’s suicide foreshadowed by video
    Maple Ridge teen posted cry for help on YouTube
    CBC News

    Oct 11, 2012 1:47 PM PT
    Last Updated:

    Oct 11, 2012 7:38 PM PT

    Tributes are pouring in for a Maple Ridge, B.C., teenager who
    committed suicide after posting a video describing how she was tormented
    by bullies and suffered from depression.
    The 15-year-old, whose name was Amanda, posted a cry for help in a
    YouTube video in September. It was taken down by YouTube on Thursday
    following her death.
    Amanda didn’t speak through the entire nine minutes, but flashes
    dozens of cards telling how she sank into depression after she says she
    was blackmailed, relentlessly taunted and physically attacked at school.
    She moved schools several times, but couldn’t escape bullies, she says through the flash cards.
    In the notes underneath the video, she writes, “I’m struggling to
    stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply….
    Haters are haters but please don’t hate,” said the posting.
    Grief shakes community
    News of the teen’s death has sparked a wave of grief and anger online and in her community.
    Cheryl Quinton, who is with the Coquitlam School Board, says the girl’s suicide has shaken students and staff.
    “Student deaths in such tragic circumstances do hit a community very, very hard,” said Quinton.
    She said the school was aware of the video before Amanda took her life, and supports were in place to help her.
    Bullying has been an issue for schools for decades, and it’s particularly difficult to combat now in an age of social media, Quinton said.
    Premier speaks out
    B.C. Premier Christy Clark posted a message on YouTube expressing her own concern and condolences for the family.
    The 15-year-old girl from Maple Ridge, B.C., posted a video to YouTube in September saying she was depressed due to bullying.(YouTube )
    one deserves to be bullied. No one earns it. No one asks for it. It
    isn’t a rite of passage. Bullying has to stop,” said Clark.
    “Every child, everyone needs to be able to feel safe at school. And
    when we send our kids to school we need to know that they are going to
    come home safe.”
    RCMP have released a statement saying it was an unimaginable tragedy that has a huge impact on the community as a whole.
    Copyright © CBC 2012

    Michelle Young

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 11, 2012
    The video is still online. It is the longest of the three in the news article, nearly 9 minutes in length. She is very detailed. Use your best judgment before watching it. The news described the video as gut wrenching. I have to agree.

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 12, 2012
    My Orkut fortune today reads, “It isn”t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And
    it isn”t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. (Eleanor

    That’s how I feel about the role we need to play in suicide prevention.

    My search continues… I just wish it didn’t feel like I was talking to myself right now.

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 12, 2012
    lol I didn’t type that quote. It’s what I copied and pasted. Seems like they need to find better typists. 😀

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 13, 2012
    Boy, maybe I’ll get this edited correctly this time and finally be able to leave the post…

    I’m not allowing this or the other new thread to lie fallow for long. In fact, I’ve been quiet not because I’m spent on the subject. I’ve struck gold thanks to someone at the right university with the right connections to get me two amazing theses on both subjects–suicide, and the other one related to Prudence Crandall and Malala. Mind you, I’m sure these studies weren’t intentional that way, but maybe they were. The author of one is a professor and the author of the original article I’d gone searching for when I stumbled on the other article. It really was, as one says, synchronistic.

    And those of you who remember the conversations in Scorpio related to Persephone (sigh…I have to sigh…more egg on the face here…the one I tried to say just had no validity for me…boy oh boy she’s come back to haunt me yet again!) may enjoy watching me squirm again as I say the words: Persephone isn’t only a goddess of fertility. She’s also a goddess of the dead.

    It’s an interesting journey. I’m following up before I post more. I haven’t disappeared on you. It’s just that there’s more to do till the next
    part. Hopefully I’ll have more before the end of the day (it’s already Sunday here too now).

    Btw, I hadn’t seen this twist coming in my search at all!

    Hopefully I won’t see more editing once I click this copy. lol Geez! lol

    Michelle - Orkut shot Michelle YoungOct 14, 2012
    I am not going to edit this. It was hours in the creation, and the references to “Persephone’s Sacred Lake and the Ancient Female Mystery Religion in the Womb of Sicily” will not be changed. I have to hope and pray that I managed to get all the typos out of the way and already corrected. 🙂

    In the course of my finding the other article still to come in the other thread, I stumbled upon “Persephone’s Sacred Lake and the Ancient Female Mystery Religion in the Womb of Sicily.” If for nothing else, my having seen “Persephone” was just enough to make me stop short and follow through with this as well. It turned into a completely unexpected detour that glued me to the pages themselves, and I realized that there was more than meets the eye on the subject of suicide. Of course, the article itself has nothing directly to do with suicide…or does it? Perhaps this is where we need to begin to think outside of the box.

    Although this scholarly article opens with a study about Demeter and Persephone, the author, Marguerite Rigoglioso, takes us through a fairly vivid geographic description of the area of Greece where the rites of the followers of Demeter and Persephone took place, Eleusis. Because Greece was a patriarchal society, such rites fell under the dominion of nearby Athens. But Greece wasn’t the only area that saw the followers of Demeter and Persephone. In Italy, in the center of Sicily, about 8 km apart, there are a city and a lake. Rigoglioso focuses on the latter, Lake Pergusa, framing a reference to the possibility of the lake serving as a “symbol of the [divine and human] female body” and carrying the concept further as a sign that this “may once have been the location of a female-centered religion in which girls’ and women’s rites of passage and bodily, psychological, and spiritual experiences were the main focus, and in which women served as principal ministrants.”

    Now I’ll grant that this idea seems to have been the impetus for my thoughts from here on because it seems to me that if Persephone is the goddess of fertility and the goddess of death, why would it not therefore make sense that suicide would logically fall in here as well? While Rigoglioso points to the possibility that these (the lake and the city in Sicily and even Eleusis in Greece) may have been sites where a significant amount of female power had been observed. But certainly her noting “the lake’s current environmental degradation and ecofeminist efforts to save it, noting the correspondences between violence against nature and violence against women and all that has been considered ‘feminine'” would be equally important to recognize as well.

    She veers in a different direction at this point and takes note of the ecosystem’s natural phenomenon that seems to parallel the human female’s biological system. In line with that, she points out a nearby archaeological dig known as Cozzo Matrice, “hill of the Mother,” another reference to this perhaps being of religious significance for worshippers of female deities. The area, in fact, dates back possibly as early as 4000 BCE. She writes, “The presence of circular enclosures, which in Paleolithic and Neolithic Europe symbolized the “womb” of the female divinity, [footnote 6] suggests that this site was probably sacred to a goddess or goddesses from very early times.”

    This theme apparently has been carried out–the mother and the idea that the female was the sacred energy in society and here, men weren’t allowed to look on the statue of Ceres, symbolic of the nurturing mother in asteroid studies for astrology students who elect to explore this avenue. The religious festivals were often marked by the life cycles of human birth, growth and dying in Sicily and in Sicily’s agricultural seasons–especially those related to wheat and barley. Similar patterns appeared to be practiced in Greece. “In Sicily, as elsewhere, Demeter was the goddess of growth and abundance, and Persephone was a goddess of both budding spring and death, or the underworld.” The reference in this last quote points directly to the 8th house and Pluto as well as the house descriptions that would include life, death, the underworld and sexuality.

    Rigoglioso points directly to the Roman poet Ovid who points to Lake Pergusa as the exact place where Persephone was abducted, describing the lake as “a remarkable environment filled with forests, waterbirds, and wildly blooming flowers.” In footnote 23, Rigoglioso writes, “23 Numerous references in Greek and Roman literature connect the swan with death. In Plato’s Phaedo, e.g., Socrates says: “[When swans] feel that the time has come for them to die, they sing more loudly and sweetly than they have sung in all their lives before, for joy that they are going away into the presence of the god whose servants they are. . . . [S]wans, belonging as they do to Apollo, have prophetic powers and sing because they know the good things that await them in the unseen world.” See Plato, The Last Days of Socrates, trans. Hugh Tredennick and Harold Tarrant (New York: Penguin, 1993), 144–45. In Greek mythology, various characters are transformed into swans when they die, including Cycnus, son of Ares. See Robert Graves, The Greek Myths (New York: Penguin, 1960), 143.e, 559. According to Ovid, Cycnus transforms into a swan to mourn the death of his close friend Phaethon. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 2.367–82. The swan is also a death bird in Old European symbolism (Gimbutas, Language of the Goddess, 317) and Eurasian mythology (Marek Zvelebil, lecture on Eurasian shamanism, University of California–Berkeley, April 17, 2001).” The footnote is critically important to this analysis of Persephone–and Pluto, for that matter–since we’re discussing this concept of suicide as it relates to this particular thesis. She writes, “It is important to note that although she embodied the life-giving aspects of springtime, she would have been, at the same time, a goddess of death. Thus, says [Sicilian scholar Giuseppe] Martorana, Kore [Persephone], or some earlier form of her, was probably the original goddess of Lake Pergusa—an independent, free-standing goddess who embodied the totality of the life and death cycle.”

    In Shakti Woman (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1991), pages 89–90, Vicki Noble notes “that women ‘probably invented astronomy and astrology’ based on their intimate involvement, through menstruation,” with the cycles of the moon.

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