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suicide

Following the suicide of former New England Patriot player Aaron Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for murder at the state's maximum security prison in Shirley, Gov. Charlie Baker said he has faith in his Department of Correction commissioner.

The governor said the number of prison suicides in Massachusetts has declined over the past decade, but said, "Anytime anybody kills themselves in a prison, something clearly went wrong."

In the '80s and '90s, America's suicide trend was headed in the right direction: down.

"It had been decreasing almost steadily since 1986, and then what happened is there was a turnaround," says Sally Curtin, a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Department of Children and Families ordered a suicide prevention audit after the Child Advocate issued a critical report last summer over conditions at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School for boys and the Pueblo unit for girls in Middletown.

BMX rider Dave Mirra, who for years dominated his sport even as he helped others embrace it, has died at age 41. Police in Greenville, N.C., say they found Mirra "sitting in a truck with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound."

Police found Mirra in a parked vehicle shortly after he had visited friends in Greenville, where he had lived for years as an active member of the community. Mirra is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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Connecticut state police and the Department of Correction said they are investigating the death of an inmate at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic as a possible suicide.

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Stringent gun permit laws may contribute to a drop in the gun suicide rate, according to a new study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. The study contrasted the gun policies and gun suicide rates in Connecticut and Missouri.

Trish Buchanan

Waterbury's Acting Deputy Police Chief, Chris Corbett, was laid to rest on Tuesday. He died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound last week.

It's not uncommon: each year, more police die by suicide than are killed in the line of duty. 

Senate Democrats

The U.S. Senate approved the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act by a vote of 99-0 Tuesday afternoon. The bill seeks to improve mental health care and suicide prevention resources for veterans. 

The federal VA estimates 22 veterans die by suicide each day.

Marine Clay Hunt has become the face of the suicide epidemic. Hunt killed himself in 2011 after deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. His family and veteran advocates say he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and received inadequate care from the VA before taking his own life.

preventsuicidect.org

The state is rolling out a new campaign to get people talking about a topic they typically avoid: suicide. 

In 2013, there were more than suicides in Connecticut. According to the state, it's a number that has stayed relatively constant over time, and it's also a number that's lower than the national average. On the one hand, that's good news. On the other, fewer suicides would be even better.

Chion Wolf

If things had gone according to his plan, Kevin Hines would have been dead for the last 14 years and therefore, not appearing on today's show. 

In September 2000, he jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, the second most popular suicide site in the world. Somewhere around 1,600 people have jumped to their deaths from that bridge since it opened in 1937. The rate seems to be rising.

But, this isn't really a show about that location. It's about what we learn from a person who survives a very serious suicide attempt.

The recent death of actor Robin Williams left many people shocked, and it re-started the conversation about suicide, its warning signs, and ways to get help. We revisit a show we did about the illness last year.

We also hear a moving story about depression from author Andrew Solomon, who shared it at The Connecticut Forum earlier this year.

For many years, Robin Williams seemed like a talent who had no off switch.

From his standup comedy work to TV roles to talk show appearances to Oscar-caliber movies and performances on Broadway, Williams was a dervish of comedy — tossing off one-liners, biting asides and sidesplitting routines in a blizzard of accents, attitudes and goodhearted energy.

Suicide remains a leading cause of death in the United States, especially among teenagers and young adults. Anything that could reduce the toll would be good.

But asking everyone who goes to the doctor if he is considering suicide isn't the answer, according to a federal panel that evaluated the effectiveness of existing screening tools for suicide. They found there wasn't enough evidence to know whether screening the general public helps or hurts.

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A legislative hearing was held Monday on a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to the terminally ill.  The session brought emotional testimony from those both in favor and opposed. 

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A new poll shows Connecticut voters strongly support legislation allowing doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients.

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