A 58-year-old woman who suffered from depression for years took her life on Sunday. A 14-year-old girl despondent over a break-up attempted suicide on Friday. And a 20-year-old man was in critical condition after attempting suicide late Sunday night. All three individuals are or were Palm Coast residents.
Coincidentally a group of Flagler County mental health and wellness advocates was organizing a “Don’t Give Up,” suicide-prevention rally this afternoon, starting at 4:30 p.m., at 1 Old Kings Road in Palm Coast, in continuing efforts to stem what the advocates–and the last few years’ numbers–see as a suicide crisis in the county, made worse by a dearth of mental health services.
Diane Huettl, 58, of 63 Beaverdam Lane, Palm Coast, died shortly after noon on Feb. 23 in the house she shared with her 60-year-old husband, her 37-year-old daughter and 39-year-old son-in-law.
Huettl’s husband told deputies that his wife had gotten upset Sunday when he dressed up for church: she’d attended church on occasion with him, but not recently. He administered her medication and went to church in St. Augustine, for a service that started at 10 a.m. When he got home at around 12:30 p.m., he noticed that his wife was not in bed. He found her in the bathroom and told his daughter-in-law to call 911.
The son-in-law reported to Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies that Huettl and her husband had argued the night before and that there’d been some sort of “commotion” he was not sure about that day. But he “never heard any gunshots, loud noises, or anything that would resemble a gun shot,” he told deputies, according to the sheriff’s incident report. (Huettl died of a gunshot.)
Huettl’s daughter–who is her mother’s caretaker–told deputies that she’d suffered from depression for most of her life, but had not talked of suicide recently. There’d been tension in the house due to relationship and money issues, but arguments were not uncommon. She, too, did not hear loud noises.
Twelve hours later, a 20-year-old man on Covington Lane was flown out by emergency helicopter with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in what authorities were investigating as an attempted suicide. Sheriff’s deputies immediately began CPR when they got to the scene, followed by paramedics from the Palm Coast Fire Department and Flagler County Fire Rescue.
At least six people–three couples, including the victim and his girlfriend–live at the house on Covington, and a few others were visiting at the time, when the gunshot was heard. The victim’s 22-year-old girlfriend initially told deputies she was in the room with her boyfriend “when he shot himself,” according to the incident report, then told them she was in the living room. She said he suffered from depression and had “thoughts about harming himself in the past.” She said he would “take his gun with no ammo in it and pull the trigger when he is depressed.” She would hide the gun when he’d drink, but that day he had not been drinking. She told deputies she wasn’t sure if the gun went off by accident or if he intended to kill himself.
The scene was turned over to sheriff’s detectives.
An unrelated suicide attempt took place Friday morning (Feb. 21) when a 14-year-old Flagler Palm Coast High School girl attempted suicide by ingesting pills at home. She had been upset about a recent break-up, according to 911 notes. She was alert and conscious when she was transported to AdventHealth Palm Coast, then Baker Acted.
The following resources are available for individuals in crisis:
In Flagler: The Crisis Triage and Treatment Unit (CTTU) is a crisis assessment and referral service for Flagler County residents experiencing behavioral health crisis. It is located at 301 Justice Lane in the Brown & Brown Outpatient building at the Vince Carter Sanctuary in Bunnell. This program is limited to individuals escorted to the program by law enforcement between the hours of noon and midnight daily. Law enforcement is able to transport individuals to SMA to assess and determine the appropriate clinical disposition. When required and appropriate, SMA then transports the individual to a receiving facility in Volusia County.
In Daytona Beach: Stewart-Marchman Act Corporation Crisis Center
1220 Willis Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Crisis Line: (800) 539–4228
Available 24 hours.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800/273-8255 (TALK), or use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat, both available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
People 60 and older can call the Institute on Aging’s 24-hour, toll-free Friendship Line at 800-971-0016. IOA also makes ongoing outreach calls to lonely older adults.