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Was it because of the devastating economic recession of the past decade, or the widespread mortgage crisis? Or maybe it was due to the abuse of prescription painkillers like OxyContin, or the pressure of being the “sandwich generation”? There are plenty of theories for why new government figures show the suicide rate for middle-aged Americans – adults ages 35 to 64 – jumped nearly 30 percent between 1999 and 2010. The increase was even higher – a 40 percent rise …
It was a late night phone call while I was away on business travel. I immediately felt a knot in my stomach, fearing it would be about my parents in Arizona. But it wasn’t. It was worse. It was a family friend. “Shaelee is dead,” she said. Just like that. The sound of those words is harshly embedded in my memory; a constant reminder of our instantly new reality. She was gone. Nothing we could do would help her anymore.