“What do you mean he’s gone?” I exclaimed. ” He’s gone, he jumped out the window!” How was that possible? The windows in this building were supposed to be impossible to break!
Let me back up to just moments before. I had just got on shift. That night it was only myself and another female staff working, taking care of 2 units. I know..they understaff us quite a bit. I was running back and forth from both units. I probably had 10-15 patients. The nurse is focused on only getting the meds out so me, the tech is responsible for all the patients and their needs. When I had received report only 30 minutes before I had been told that our newest patient, a 22 year old male was not happy to be here and wanted to leave. Ok…That’s almost everyone who is here because they are suicidal. They all want to leave. I also heard that he had some type of military background. I went and took his vitals, he asked me a couple questions but did not appear agitated in any way. I went back to the nurses station and moments later he walked up and calmly said to me and my co-worker, ” Which way is Salt Lake?” I knew in that moment he was going to try to escape. I hesitantly responded, “North.” He then asked, ” Which way is north?” I even more hesitantly responded by pointing with my index finger and said , ” That way.” “Ok.” he said, and turned and walked down the hall towards his room. I looked at my co-worker and said half jokingly half serious, ” Are we going to die?” She just stared at me. In that moment we started hearing a banging noise coming from his room. I picked up the phone and called over to the geriatric unit. I knew that my friend Trevor was working over there and we needed a males presence. He came over quickly, within seconds, ran down the hall, opened his door and he was gone. He had taken his chair and shattered the window in seconds, jumped out of a two story window and escaped. That is when he came back and told me. At that time I immediately picked up the phone and over the intercom announced an elopement had occurred. I hung up and then dialed 911. I answered the dispatchers questions, did he have shoes on, what was he wearing, which way was he going ext..Long story short, the police picked him up at a grocery store down the road, took him to the ER and eventually hours later brought him right back to us. Why? because no other psych hospital wanted him. Sad I know…When he got back to us, he was not happy as you can probably guess. He had stiches in the middle of his forehead from the fall. He told me that the impact of his fall made his head lob into the ground. I then had to sit outside his room and make sure he was doing ok. He would sit there and cry for minutes at a time and then ask for meds to make him sleep. We didn’t talk a lot but once I did ask him , ” How did you have the guts to jump out of a second story window?” He responded , ” I just don’t like feeling locked up.” I said, ” yeah I can get that.”
- Clark County escapee committed suicide in Columbia River (blogs.seattletimes.com)
- Clark County work release escapee found in Portland harbor committed suicide, authorities say (oregonlive.com)
- State Dept’s Suicide Prevention Resources – A Topic So Secret No One Wants to Talk About It (diplopundit.net)
- The Suicide Detective (stopsuicidefl.com)
- Suicides up among mentally ill (standard.co.uk)
- The Suicide Note (waniishtiaq.wordpress.com)