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Center for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield says suicides and drug overdoses have surpassed the death rate for COVID-19 among young people in America.

Redfield said lockdowns and lack of public schooling negatively impacts mental health among young people.

"We're seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID," Redfield testified in a Buck Institute Webinar. "We're seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID."

About 146,000 people have died from COVID or COVID-related causes, according to CDC data.

Federal data recorded 48,000 deaths from suicide and at least 71,000 deaths from drug overdoses in 2018.

The Chicago Sun-Times reviewed specifically black populations. In Cook County, Illinois, the number of suicide deaths among Black people is already higher than for all of 2019.

According to the American Medical Association, there has been a 40% increase in suicides and drug overdoses in Colorado in 2020. The number of calls to suicide hotlines have increased 48 percent.

Between March 15 and April 29, as many people committed suicide in Queens, New York than did between January 1 and April 29 the year prior.

Hopelessness and despair amid job uncertainty and the ongoing lockdowns have impacted mental health among children, teenagers and young adults in this country.

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The CDC has pushed for children to return to schools and adults to return to work as the deaths from COVID-19 have reached a new low.

Just 300+ people died from COVID in the U.S. last week, according to the CDC.

Redfield said he's "absolutely comfortable" with his grandchildren returning to school in the fall.

40 million jobs have been lost to the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic, compared to 2.6 million jobs lost in all of 2008 when the SARS/H1N1 virus arrived in the U.S.

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A Black man's hanging death in Southern California has officially been ruled a suicide based on an autopsy and a purchase from a local Dollar Tree store.

Robert Fuller, 24, was found hanging from a tree in front of Palmdale City Hall in Poncitlán Square on June 10.

Authorities launched a monthlong investigation after Fuller's family rejected the official cause of death.

"The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible," his family said in a statement. "There are many ways to die, but considering the current racial tension, a Black man hanging himself from a tree definitely doesn't sit well with us right now. We want justice, not comfortable excuses."

Authorities focused their investigation on the red rope and fabric found in the tree. Police said there was a May 14 purchase on Fuller's EBT card that was consistent with the red rope used in the hanging.

Sheriff's Commander Chris Marks said Fuller had a history of depression and was hospitalized three times since 2017, according to the NY Times.

Fuller told doctors he had suicidal ideations and had previously put a gun to his head. His last hospital admission was in November. He told doctors at a hospital in Nevada that he "did have a plan to kill himself," Marks said.

Jason R. Hicks, a lawyer representing Fuller's family, said he planned to respond to the sheriff's department's finding. The family does not have any comments at this time.
 

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Jas Waters, a writer for "This Is Us" and ”Kidding", has died in Los Angeles at age 39.

Her death was announced in a statement on the "This Is Us" writers Twitter account on Wednesday.

"The entire #ThisIsUs family was devastated to learn of Jas Waters passing," the statement read.

"In our time together, Jas left her mark on us and ALL over the show. She was a brilliant storyteller and a force of nature. We send our deepest sympathies to her loved ones. She was one of us. RIP @JasFly."

While no cause of death was given, friends say she took her own life after suffering from depression and anxiety for years. She struggled with fear of the unknown and isolation while on quarantine.

Waters was a writer on Comedy Central's "Hood Adjacent with James Davis," VH1's "The Breaks," and "Kidding" on Showtime. She was an alum on VH1's reality series "The Gossip Game."

Additionally, she had a story credit on the Taraji P. Henson feature "What Men Want."

Friends and followers were stunned by the news of her passing. They shared tributes to Waters on Twitter.

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A top emergency room doctor who worked on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic in Manhattan took her own life after contracting the virus.

Dr. Lorna Breen was the head of the emergency department at a Manhattan hospital when she contracted Covid-19 after spending hectic days working in the ER.

Breen, 49, died Sunday at her family home in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she'd been staying while recuperating from the disease.

Breen's father, Philip Breen, said his daughter fell ill with the virus while on the job, but she attempted to return to work after only a week and a half of recuperating.

The hospital ordered her to return home, and her family brought her back to Virginia, where she shot herself in the head with a gun belonging to her retired NYPD dad.

"She was truly in the trenches on the front line," Philip Breen told the Times.

"Make sure she's praised as a hero," he added. "She's a casualty just as much as anyone else who has died."

Philip said his daughter did not have a history of psychological problems.

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Former Playboy Playmate Ashley Mattingly apparently took her own life while quarantining at her home in Texas. She was 33.

Ashley was found dead at her home in Bee Cave, Texas, about 15 miles outside of Austin, Texas, her family tells PEOPLE. She left several suicide notes, although further details are still unknown.

Her siblings say they can't bring themselves to read her suicide notes. They said she struggled with alcohol and substance abuse.

The model was found unresponsive on Thursday after a friend called police to conduct a welfare check because they had not heard from her.

The family is caring for her golden retriever puppy that she recently adopted to "overcome these demons," her family said.

"Our hope is that Ashley's story can continue to shed a light on suicide awareness and prevention. We love you Ashley," a statement read.

Calls to suicide hotlines have soared in many states due to coronavirus anxiety and depression aggravated by loneliness and social isolation.

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Tyler Perry's family members are mourning the death of his nephew, who hanged himself in his prison cell on Tuesday night.

The family is demanding answers after the actor and director's nephew, Gavin Porter, committed suicide at a prison facility near St. Helena Parish in Louisiana.

Prison officials insist the 26-year-old inmate hanged himself in his cell, according to TMZ, but Perry's sister, who is the dead man's mom, isn't convinced he took his own life.

Sources tell TMZ Porter was placed in solitary confinement after fighting with another inmate over the weekend.

Gavin was arrested for shooting and killing his biological father in 2016. He pleaded no contest to manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years.

Perry has yet to comment on the family tragedy.

Source: WENN.com

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A teenager who was obsessed with social media took her own life after not getting enough 'likes' on her photos.

Chloe Davison, 19, hanged herself in her bedroom moments after she was active on social media, her mother told The Sun newspaper.

"She thought she wasn't good enough unless she was getting loads of likes and comments," Clair Reynolds said.

Chloe was an aspiring model whose self-esteem was closely linked to social media engagement with her photos.

"She was addicted to apps like Instagram and Snapchat," said family friend Nick Coombs, who knew Chloe since she was a youngster.

Coombs, 55, said Chloe was addicted to selfies. "She would spend hours taking the perfect photo, but would delete it later if it didn't get popular enough," Coombs said.

Reynolds said Chloe struggled scholastically and she was a loner who rarely hung out with friends.

As a result of her self-imposed isolation Chloe was often taunted and bullied online by trolls who made fun of her pictures.

"Chloe was crying many nights because someone had said something horrible about her online," her older sister Jade Davison told a reporter.

Jade and her mother returned home Friday night from a bar around 11:30 p.m., and found Chloe hanging in her bedroom.

"When we took her body down, her hair and makeup were still perfect," said Coombs who was at the house when Chloe killed herself.

"She was wearing some new lingerie that she'd been excited to model," he said.

"Chloe was beautiful, but she didn't see that," said her mum. "She cared too much about how other people saw her."

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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The producer who created the hit TV series "Ugly Betty" was found dead in a Miami hotel room on Tuesday. Police say Silvio Horta died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 45.

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Despite his success, the openly homosexual producer had previously spoken about being unhappy due to the stress of his work, according to London's Daily Mail.

Ben Silverman acquired the rights to the Spanish-language hit "Yo Soy Betty La Fea" (I am Betty the Ugly One) in 2006. He hired Horta to adapt it to the small screen.

Silverman described the Cuban show-runner as "An incredible voice and talent and a rare person, a gay Cuban writer who hit the mainstream as a kid and never could quite keep up with his own success."

Ugly Betty star America Ferrera also paid tribute to Horta, whom she described as a "joy and light."

"I'm stunned and heartbroken to hear the devastating news of Ugly Betty creator, Silvio Horta's death," Ferrera, 35, wrote on Instagram.

"His talent and creativity brought me and so many others such joy and light. I'm thinking of his family and loved ones who must be in so much pain right now - and of the whole Ugly Betty family who feel this loss deeply.

"It's sad that he wasn't happy in his own skin," Silverman told USA Today.

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Shibbon Winelle gave a tearful account of her son, Bryce Gowdy's final moments before he was hit by a train earlier this week. Authorities in South Florida ruled the 17-year-old's death a suicide.

Bryce was a 4-star Georgia Tech recruit who appeared to be suffering from a mental health crisis in the last few days before he died.

Winelle, who claims she has mental health issues of her own, posted a YouTube video explaining the "spiritual conservations" she had with Bryce.

Winelle and her children were often homeless and had been living in her car and hotel rooms. The night Bryce died, they were homeless again.

Bryce was scheduled to start classes at Georgia Tech in Atlanta on January 6. But he was worried about leaving his family in that predicament.

She said Bryce, the eldest of her three sons, repeatedly asked her questions about religion and about life. She said he talked a mile a minute, and his endless questions made her heart hurt.

When he asked to hold her hand, she refused. She told him to "toughen up" and "get it together."

"A few days ago, Bryce was talking crazy... He was happy though, he was talking about his future. He was talking about going to Georgia Tech," she said through tears. "He had a lot of questions about spirituality and life. He kept asking if I was OK, if his brothers were going to be OK. I said, 'yeah.'"

"We sat in the car all day... because we didn't have anywhere to go," she said. "He sat next to me just talking. I was stressed. I was too stressed to really deal with it. We were on the streets again, homeless. The little job I got wasn't paying me my money on time or in full."

After Winelle picked up her son, Brayden, from work that night, the family went to their hotel room.

She said she locked herself in the bathroom to take a break from Bryce's intense questions. 30 minutes later, she emerged from the bathroom and asked Bryce to go to the car to get her favorite blanket. The time was 3:30 a.m.

When he didn't return, she went out to look for him. Her blanket was gone from her car and Bryce was nowhere to be found.

Winelle said he left his cell phone, wallet and shoes behind in the hotel room. Later that morning, Winelle called her older brother, who told her someone was hit by a train at 4 a.m.

"I've been begging for help for months," she cried. "For months, I've been begging for help."

Over $95,000 in donations have poured in to a GoFundMe page to help the Gowdy family get back on their feet.

A recent study shows a dramatic increase in suicide deaths among Black adolescents and teenagers.

From 1991 to 2017, suicide attempts among Black children and teens rose by 73%.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
 

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A second Kevin Spacey accuser has committed suicide. Ari Behn, 47, died by suicide the same day Spacey returned to YouTube in a bizarre Christmas video.

Behn, who was previously married to Norwegian princess Martha Louise, accused Spacey, 60, of reaching under a table and grabbing his genitals twice at a Nobel Prize concert in 2007. Behn would have been around 35 at the time of the alleged incident.

"I have a little #MeToo story about Kevin Spacey," Behn said in late 2017.

"We were having a nice chat where we spoke about theater and drama... After minutes, he said 'Hey, let's go out and have a cigarette,' then he grabbed me under the table right in the balls."

The news of Behn's death comes after Spacey posted a bizarre Christmas video on YouTube.

In the video, Spacey sits by a roaring fire while wearing a holiday sweater.

Speaking in the voice of his House of Cards character, Spacey said, "You didn't really think I was going to miss the opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas, did you? It's been a pretty good year and I'm grateful to have my health back and in light of that I've made some changes in my life and I'd like to invite you to join me."

Spacey concluded:

"The next time someone does something you don't like you can go on the attack but you can also hold your fire and do the unexpected, you can kill them with kindness.”

 

Behn's death marks the third passing of a person who accused Spacey of sexual assault.

Earlier this year, Linda Culkin, a nurse who accused Spacey of sexual battery against one of her patients, was hit by a car as she crossed an intersection.

Police said Culkin crossed while the light was green. The driver swerved to avoid her and hit another car head on. Both drivers were not seriously injured. Police did not file charges.

Months later, a middle-aged massage therapist who accused Spacey of sex assault when the man was a teenager died by suicide.

The man's attorney asked Spacey to give the family 90 days to grieve and to "substitute his estate," but Spacey filed a notice of death in court the next day.

Los Angeles prosecutors dropped the sexual battery case after the accuser died, and Massachusetts prosecutors also dropped the criminal case against Spacey.

On Nov. 8, 2017, former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh held a press conference in Boston, during which she tearfully accused Spacey of allegedly groping her then-18-year-old son. The incident allegedly occurred in July 2016 at the Club Carr restaurant on Nantucket Island.

The teenager said he texted his girlfriend while Spacey groped him. But Spacey's attorneys spent months trying to obtain the cell phone and copies of the text messages. A lawyer for the teen told prosecutors the phone was missing.

When Unruh turned over the cell phone to police in 2017, she admitted she deleted some of the text messages. On June 26, 2019, her son filed a lawsuit against Spacey, claiming emotional damages.

The lawsuit was dropped two weeks later "with prejudice", meaning it can't be filed again.

Since being accused of sex abuse, Spacey's movie projects have been canceled and his bookings have dried up.

The sex scandals have brought down power players like Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Adam Venit, Bryan Singer and Brett Ratner.

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Former Oakland Raiders running back George Atkinson, III, 27, has died one year after his twin brother Josh Atkinson committed suicide.

George, who also played for the Cleveland Browns, is the son of Super Bowl champion George Atkinson II.

According to People magazine, the Athletic's Pete Sampson tweeted the news late Monday night. No cause of death was reported.

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George's death comes after his twin brother Josh committed suicide last Christmas. George and Josh played football for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. They also excelled at track & field.

Josh was reportedly depressed after their mother died from complications of Crohn's disease. She was also diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

In an open letter written in October and published by The Unsealed, George opened up about his struggles grieving the loss of his mother and his twin brother.

Titled "How I Turned My Losses Into Lessons", George wrote that his brother felt guilty over their mom's death.

George said he was hospitalized on a mental ward for self-harm after his brother died.

"That's the moment I felt like I lost everything. That's the moment I can't describe," he wrote. "I never want you to feel his pain or my pain."

George said his 2-year-old daughter motivated him and gave him the will to live.

"I knew I had to find a way to keep going and be a role model for her," he wrote. "Without my daughter, I don't know where I would be right now. She gave me that second wind of motivation."

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K-Pop fans are mourning the death of 28-year-old singer Goo Hara on Sunday. The former member of South Korean girl group KARA took her own life 6 months after a previous suicide attempt.

Hara's body was found around 6 p.m. local time on Sunday in the exclusive Gangnam area of Seoul, South Korea. A close friend of Hara's said she battled "severe depression" due to negative online comments.

S. Korea police say Hara left a handwritten, "pessimistic" note on her living room table. Hara left a final "goodbye" on Instagram.com before she took her own life. Hara also said "goodbye" to fans on Instagram after her first suicide attempt.

During her recovery Hara apologized to her fans for worrying them. "I am sorry for causing a commotion and concern," she told Sankei Sports.

"In terms of health, I am recovering," she added. "I had been in agony over a number of overlapping issues."

Hara, who often spoke out about online bullying in the past, launched an anti-cyberbullying campaign after her first suicide attempt. She pleaded with her fans to leave more positive comments on her timelines. She vowed to ignore the negativity going forward.

"From now on, I will steel my heart and try to show up healthy," she said.

Social media is linked to a dramatic increase in youth and young adult suicide rates and a hike in mental illness diagnoses.

The news of Hara's death comes days after Twitter tech support announced the microblogging platform is offering users the option of hiding replies to spare their feelings.

The "hide replies" feature is available to all users across mobile and desktop platforms. The new feature has been both hailed and criticized as "radical" and "controversial".

Critics noted that a blue popup and an icon alerts users to the hidden replies - and simply clicking the popup reveals the hidden replies to any user.

Critics worry that the new feature could encourage trolls to retaliate against Twitter users for hiding their replies.

One Twitter user wrote: "I wonder if this pop up makes people more likely to pay attention to hidden replies than if they were never hidden in the first place".

Another user tweeted, "What is the point of people hiding unwanted tweet replies if twitter fills the screen with a giant pop-up calling attention to the fact that there are replies they have hidden".

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The story of a Philadelphia man who allegedly committed suicide after defending his relationship with a male-to-female transgender has gone global. 20-year-old Maurice "Reese Him Daddie" Willoughby reportedly took his own life after he was dumped by his MtF transgender lover named Faith.

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Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein feared for his life in the days before he was found hanging in his jail cell. Epstein, 66, was found dead in his Lower Manhattan jail cell on Saturday morning. According to MSNBC, people close to Epstein feared an attempt on his life after he was found semi-conscious in his jail cell last month.

Attorney General William Barr has ordered an investigation into Epstein's death. According to NPR, Barr "was appalled" to learn that Epstein died "from an apparent suicide while in federal custody."

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