Job loss and suicide

It's a tough story to talk about. But families who've experienced a suicide will tell you: we need to talk about it. Perhaps it's uncomfotable for some people, but the facts are clear. According to a National Suicide prevention group, suicide has become the leading cause of death for men aged 45 to 54 in this country. And one of the contributing factors can be the loss of a job.

A Mt. Pleasant mom, Alice Garon-Labonte, lost her 47 year old son Norman, after he lost his job. Then about 11 month later, another son, Norman, did the same thing. The local suicide prevention group, Survivors of Suicide, made a quilt with victims. Brian Wolfram of Saginaw is on it. So is Daniel Howey of Bridgeport and John Oslund of Bay City. All 3 lost their jobs then took their lives. But the founder of the group, Barb Smith, says unemployment doesn't cause suicide. But it's a factor. Many times the victims suffer from severe depression and feel helpless.

There is help available. People who want free 24/7 help can call 800-273-TALK (8255).

People can also contact Barb at

Barb says there's a free event for Survivors of Suicide in Bay City at the Doubletree Hotel on November 17. Her wish for everyone: "Hope, Strength and Peace".