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Why Are The Young Adults Of Blaengarw, Wales Killing Themselves?

By KJ Mullins     Jan 27, 2008 in World
Blaengarw, Wales has seen seven of its youth take their own lives. Could the Internet be the link between all of the deaths? Could be having your name on a Memorial Site be so "cool" that young people would kill themselves for it?
Messages have now been left on Natasha's own site, with one saying "RIP tash - can't believe you done it!" and another from Sadie James saying: "Heyaa Babe. Just Poppin In To Say I Let My Balloon Off With A Message On It, Hope You Got It Ok And It Made You Laugh Up There."
Natasha Randall is the latest to commit suicide in a year's span in the town. The seventeen year old hung herself in a bedroom of her home. How is this young girl connected to the other six who have taken their lives or is there no connection at all?
Two of Natasha's friends have already attempted suicide. One was on life support as of January 24 and the other recovering from slitting her wrists.
Some of the seven that have died were casual friends. All of the seven though belonged to a social networking site called Beebo. They all lived within a few miles of each other. The police though haven't been able to connect the dots in which a true connection can be made or if there are more suicides lined up. They are also looking into 13 other suicides that have taken place in the past year by people under the age of 30.
There has been some speculation that a Memorial Site on the Internet was a motivating factor. Police fear that some teens and young adults think it would be "cool" to have their names on the site.
"There does seem to be an increase in the suicide rate particularly recently," said Darren Matthews of Bridgend Samaritans. "We have seen a number of suicides of quite young people. It is very difficult."
The other six deaths were all men between the ages of 17 and 27. One of the men, Liam Clarke, 20, had a message left by Randall. He too had hung himself in a park in the town of Bridgend in December.
20 year old Thomas Davies from North Cornelly hung himself in Feb. 2007. He was friends with David Dilling and Dale Crole who both had been found just weeks earlier.
Thomas's mother, Melanie Davies, said she had talked to her son about the deaths of his friends: "He was quite upset about Dai [David Dilling] because he went to school with him.
"I said to him: 'You would never do that to me, would you?'.
"He said: 'I'd never do that to you - I wouldn't hurt you mam'. I think it was a couple of days later that he did it."
The town only has a population of 40,000. In it's glory days it was a coal mining town. Nowadays there isn't much to do in the town even the local bowling alley has closed down. A long time resident said that many of the youth drink alcohol and take drugs because of this.
Dr. Arthur Cassidy believes that there could have been a suicide pact between the victims and their friends.
Leah Phillips's parents want to know if this is the case. The fifteen year old almost died when she attempted to hang herself this week. A neighbour, Andrew Grzywaczewski saved her life by cutting her down and then performing mouth to mouth resuscitation on her until she began to breathe on her own. Leah told her parents that she doesn't know why she attempted to take her life.
"Nobody really knows what to do," Robin French, an administrator at the nearby Nolton parish church said. "Society is disconnected. We're used to suicides in our village. People do the business from a big tree near the chips shop or jump off the train. It seems everybody knows a family that's been affected."
More about Wales, Suicides, Internet