November 19, 2013

Death of woman hanged in downtown Waterville ruled suicide

A passerby spotted the woman hanging from an apartment window on Main Street late Monday, police say.

Staff Report

WATERVILLE — A 49-year-old woman found hanging from a second-story window on Main Street Monday night killed herself, police said.

Suicide warning Signs

The state’s Maine Suicide Prevention Program provides resources for those dealing with thoughts of suicide or know of people who are.

The program has a statewide hotline at (888) 568-1112, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

According to the program, the warning signs of suicide are:

Talk of suicide or death

•  Neglect of appearance or hygiene

Dropping out of activities

•  Isolation from family and friends

The feeling that life is meaningless or feeling unloved; depression

Sense of hopelessness and helplessness increase

•  The refusal of help

•  He or she may make a will

•  He or she may pick fights or be over-argumentative

•  He or she may give away treasured possessions

 

People can help prevent a suicide by:

•  Encouraging the person to talk about his or her feelings

•  Stay calm and listen

•  Take all threats seriously

•  Be accepting and don’t judge or lecture

•  Let the person know you care

•  Ask about suicidal thoughts and if he or she has a plan

•  Never promise secrecy and get help

•  Stay with the person until help is arranged

 

More information is available at the programs website at www.maine.gov/suicide.

 

Maine ranked higher than the national average in suicides per year in 2008, the latest year that the data is available, with 15.4 suicides per 100,000 people, according to Maine Department of Health and Human Services. The national average in 2008 was 13.7 suicides per 100,000 people.

From 2005-2009 there were 901 deaths by suicide in Maine, roughly 180 per year, according to the department, which was about seven suicides for every homicide.

The woman, Mona Young, 49, of 189 Main St., was pronounced dead after medical workers and police responded to a call from a passerby about 11 p.m., according to Chief Joseph Massey of the Waterville Police Department.

Police ruled the death a suicide after an investigation found no foul play, Massey said.

Several people saw the woman hanging by her neck from a downtown apartment across the street from Mainely Brews restaurant before police and medical personnel were able to remove her, Massey said.

“It was very visible,” he said.

The warning signs of suicide include the neglect of one’s appearance or hygiene, isolation from friends and family, a feeling of hopelessness and the refusal of help, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

People who are or know someone who is having suicidal thoughts are encouraged to call the state’s 24-hour hotline at 1-888-568-1112. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

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