I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Top Ten Places to Suicide: Arizona.


December 10: International Human Rights Day
December 15: Fifth Special Legislative Session Begins
December 17: International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (Tucson Memorial Service).
December 18: SWOP-Tucson Demonstration at the Arizona Department of Corrections, Phoenix.

This is an impressively-written article, and it's about time people caught on to how to deal with someone who's suicidal - I don't understand what took so long, or why this is novel. I'd like to see all the Department of Corrections and MCSO staff  take that class on managing suicidal crises. 

We've been killing ourselves at twice the rate we've been killing each other in Arizona. That says a lot about the gaps in mental health care, as well as the toll that internalized oppression takes on people here. 

I sure hope some of the 2010 political candidates have a better vision for the future than more prisons to bolster our economic base (and psychiatric "facilities" to keep the people who make us uncomfortable with their suffering off the streets). Look at the prospects they put on the horizon for us now:  no wonder we're all doing ourselves in. 

There's also a link to a very moving memorial following the article. Check it out.

Magellan Health Services alters approach to suicide prevention

Over the summer, feeling overwhelmed by her physical and mental-health problems, Katie Ayotte went into her bathroom and swallowed a large number of pills she took to treat her bipolar disorder

It was a suicide attempt, Ayotte said, one of several the 47-year-old Phoenix resident has made over the years. Ayotte survived, and as she recovered, she noticed a new approach her clinical team was taking.
Before, she would awake in an intensive-care unit to find a doctor
or nurse barking questions.

Did you think this would solve anything? Didn't you think about your family? What were you thinking?
This time, no one blamed Ayotte. Instead, she saw a doctor who got up from behind his desk and sat down next to her. "I'm concerned for you," he said. And together they began to create a "safe zone" for Ayotte, moving her medications
from the bathroom to the kitchen, where she would have trouble accessing them without her husband or another loved one noticing.

Ayotte's doctor had embraced the principles of an approach to treating suicide that is new to Maricopa County. This fall, Magellan Health Services, which was hired by the state in 2007 to improve mental-health care in the county, launched a new plan to reduce suicides.

Arizona perennially finishes in the top 10 nationally for suicides per capita, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
. In 2007, 986 Arizonans died by suicide, twice the number of those who were murdered, according to Magellan. The rate of suicide was 15.9 per 100,000 people; in New York, the rate was 6.9 per 100,000.(read more)


Loved ones Lost to Suicide

The above link is to a slide show at AZ, which someone made to memorialize those whose lives have been lost to suicide. It's quite intimate and worth the journey if you give yourself a little time. 

- Peg

1 comment:

  1. Peg the link does not work. Good article, and this definitely needs more attention.