Untimely Death Of TV Star’s Brother Turns Spotlight On Suicide

The untimely death of 36-year-old Charles Criss, brother of actor Darren Criss, by his own hand is turning the spotlight on suicide. Westwind Recovery in Los Angeles says to be aware of warning signs particularly if the person has been known to suffer from depression.

The untimely death of 36-year-old Charles Criss, brother of actor Darren Criss, by his own hand is turning the spotlight on suicide and mental health in general. According to Dr. Deena Manion, Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery in Los Angeles, it is critical that we are aware of warning signs particularly if the person in question has been known to suffer from depression.


“Perhaps some good can come out of this tragedy if the public are made aware of the warning signs of suicide,” says Manion, who treats patients with mental health conditions at Westwind Recovery. “All too often, the patient cries out for help though not necessarily in a direct and specific manner. If one listens carefully, however, they might be able to hear the signs, intervene and save a life.


“If you notice behavioral or personality changes or you just intuitively feel something is ‘off’ then you are probably on to something,” she adds. “Sometimes people avoid asking if something is wrong because they may feel it awkward to say…it is not. If people are struggling they usually want to talk. Don’t avoid difficult topics because you do not want to pry or it feels uncomfortable. A common thing I hear from loved ones following a suicide is ‘I wish I had said something or done something differently’ but then it’s too late.”


Westwind Recovery shares these accepted warning signs:


· Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself;


· Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose;


· Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain;


· Talking about being a burden to others;


· Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs;


· Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless;


· Sleeping too little or too much;


· Withdrawing or feeling isolated;


· Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge


· Displaying extreme mood swings.


The National Institute of Mental Health reports the total age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 35.2% from 10.5 per 100,000 in 1999 to 14.2 per 100,000 in 2018. While the rate slowed to 13.9 per 100,000 in 2019, the numbers are not in for the post-COVID era and some experts believe there may be an increase since then. The suicide rate among males was 3.7 times higher (22.4 per 100,000) than among females (6.0 per 100,000).


Westwind Recovery operates an outpatient treatment center and seven supportive living homes in LA. To learn more about Westwind Recovery, visit www.westwindrecovery.com.


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