Death Valley

The Great Depression

The surgeon general announced last week that suicide is now a national health threat. Feeling sad?

Joe Schiano
Age: 35
Resides: Long Beach, Long Island
Occupation: Electrician

Have you ever contemplated suicide? No. It's against my religion. Thou shalt not kill. And I've got three kids. I guess everyone's contemplated it once in their lives...but not seriously.

How do you cheer yourself? It's my kids. They cheer me up. Maybe I'll get a couple drinks.

Why do so many people think about it? I don't know. They say with each passing generation, it's supposed to get easier. That's not true. If anything, it gets harder. It's corporate greed and the government. You make $50,000 a year, you think you can support a family on that? After the government takes 30 percent? In the '50s a man like me had no problems supporting their family.


Shawnta Wormley
Age: 26
Resides: Bushwick, Brooklyn
Occupation: Administrative assistant

Have you ever contemplated suicide? No. I love living. I love breathing. I've become attached to it.

How do you cheer yourself? I call my friends, my family. I talk to my mother and father. I pray.

Why do so many people think about it? They don't have hope. The way the world is going, they go to the media, they don't find any solutions. They can't talk to their family. They're alone.


Ari Yanopulo
Age: 20
Resides: Williamsburg
Occupation: Flyer distributor

Have you ever contemplated suicide? Yeah. Plenty of times. It came to a point where I was going through a lot of family problems. And also trying to find a job. I'm over it now. I just stopped thinking about it. But I tried every thing. I sliced myself. I put a gun to my head. Jumping off a roof. It's so stupid when I think about it.

How do you cheer yourself? I think of happy things. My friends cheer me up.

Why do so many people think about it? The growing teen suicide-it's miscommunication with parents. Whether they come from a ghetto or a dysfunctional family. Some mothers and fathers are addicts.


Margaret To
Age: 14
Resides: Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Occupation: Student

Have you ever contemplated suicide? Yeah. Because of stress and family problems. It's over. Everything's going good. I tried running away once. That actually helped, though. After that my mother actually started listening to me.

How do you cheer yourself? I just talk to friends. They help me.

Why do so many people think about it? They just want to get away from their problems. It's all stress. A lot of people have the same problem with their family.


Edward Hernandez
Age: 23
Resides: Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Occupation: Marketing

Have you ever contemplated suicide? No. Never. Even when I was a teenager. I was doing crazy things back then, but when my son was born-he's three now-it eliminated the mere possible thought of suicide. I couldn't leave him.

How do you cheer yourself? I dance. I breakdance.

Why do so many people think about it? It has a lot to do with people's parents. A child only knows what it's taught.


Mirriam Garrick
Age: 32
Resides: Oceanside, Long Island
Occupation: Customer relations

Have you ever contemplated suicide? Yeah, of course. I feel like I don't belong in this world. It's not designed for me. There's a lot of apathy in this world. But you look at life and see the trees and flowers and that life is beautiful.

How do you cheer yourself? I talk to my friends. I listen to music.

Why do so many people think about it? Society's backward. We're not working for more soul. It's all financial.


Mark Young
Age: 27
Resides: Harlem
Occupation: Sales

Have you ever contemplated suicide? No. Life has not been that good to me, but not so bad that I have to think about suicide.

How do you cheer yourself? Listen to music. Rap. r&b.

Why do so many people think about it? Stress. Peer pressure. Drugs. Parents. School. There's no place to turn with all that stuff.

 
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