After Stanford soccer star’s death by suicide, experts say there may be no warning signs

After Stanford soccer star’s death by suicide, experts say there may be no warning signs

By all accounts, Katie Meyer’s existence was going in a positive way.

Meyer, 22, of Newbury Park, California, was on the dean’s list at Stanford University, majoring in global relations. She was captain of the school’s women’s soccer staff — a star goalie who labored to aid other feminine athletes.

She experienced mates who adored her. Teammates looked up to her.

Most of all, she had a close-knit, loving relatives. Her mom and dad spoke with her through FaceTime earlier this week. The dialogue, they said, was about spring break. Katie appeared to be excited about a doable trip to Cancun.

“We had no purple flags, no purple flags that anything was completely wrong, that she was upset,” Katie’s mother, Gina Meyer, informed NBC News’ Stephanie Gosk on Currently on Friday.

Within just hrs of the dialogue, Katie Meyer died by suicide.

Image: Katie Meyer
Goalie Katie Meyer of the Stanford Cardinals celebrates with her teammates after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels in the course of the Division I Women’s Soccer Championship at Avaya Stadium on Dec. 8, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. Jamie Schwaberow / NCAA Pics by means of Getty Visuals file

“We’re battling proper now,” Gina Meyer reported. “We have so quite a few concerns that I will not know if we’ll at any time have solutions for about her demise.”

If Katie Meyer’s mom and dad sensed no detectable indicators of distress, how can other households and caregivers monitor their kids for suicidal views?

“Unfortunately, we can’t predict who’s heading to go on to die by suicide,” claimed Julie Cerel, a licensed psychologist and director of the Suicide Avoidance & Publicity Lab at the College of Kentucky. “Suicide would not discriminate.”

An on the net lookup of “suicide warning indications” yields success these types of as sleeping way too minimal or as well substantially, mood swings and withdrawing from social circumstances.

But anyone who has been in contact with a teenager or incredibly young adult is familiar with people indicators can also be frustratingly usual of standard behavior. Their bodies and brains are rising at distinctive speeds. Hormones continually render their moods inconsistent.

“Brain growth goes on until finally about age 25,” claimed Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, head of the University of North Carolina’s office of psychiatry. This is particularly accurate for the part of the brain liable for setting up and self-control.

This age group, Meltzer-Brody reported, is “much much more likely to act on impulse.”

“The only trusted warning signs,” Cerel claimed, “are earlier suicide attempts or speaking about seeking to die.”

“In spite of how outwardly productive an individual appears to be to be, their brain is telling them, ‘people would be far better off devoid of you,'” she said.

This kind of views are not limited to any a person distinct team of youthful people today. According to the firm, Suicide Consciousness Voices of Instruction, or Conserve, suicide is the 3rd main induce of demise for 15- to 24-year-olds in the U.S.

No just one will ever definitely know what was taking place inside Katie Meyer’s brain when she died. But gurus say that parents can use her story as an opening to a dialogue with children and youngsters.

Cerel prompt these opening strains: “Hey, we observed the suicide of this actually awesome younger athlete. What would you do if you were being ever feeling this way?”

Emily Mudd, a pediatric psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, said the vital is to make distinct that physical and psychological wellness are equivalent.

“If you have a damaged bone, you’re likely to see the physician. If you have depression, you are going to see a medical professional,” she said. What is important is to “build an ecosystem in your household in which your kid feels like it truly is protected to disclose issues,” Mudd claimed.

Start off normalizing conversations about psychological wellness early, instead than waiting around for signals of despair that may never ever occur, authorities mentioned.

Cerel and colleagues at the University of Kentucky have started function on a pilot application with university nurses throughout the point out that aims to get young men and women to start out contemplating about the reply to that issue, extensive prior to any suicidal thoughts may well begin.

The system, called Code Pink, is substantially like a fire escape prepare. Just as grown ups train young children how to get out of the household in circumstance of a fire, they should also aid them figure out how to work by views of ending their lives in scenario they ever arise.

The strategy includes crafting down particular “escape routes,” these types of as which folks the child could speak to if they had been at any time sensation like ending their life, or how they could possibly unwind and distract them selves till they could get aid.

Katie Meyer’s father, Steven, urged dad and mom to chat to their children — no matter their age — overtly about their mental well being.

“You may possibly have someone who has been loved to the ends of the earth and again from the day she was born,” he stated. “You can adore them absolutely, but you may not have an understanding of them thoroughly.”

If you or a person you know is in crisis, call the Countrywide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text House to 741741 or visit for extra assets.

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