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New Campaign to Combat Suicide

More resources, increased screening are goals

Suicide is a tragedy, but mental health officials say in some cases it is a preventable one. The government wants to make more resources available to those who are suffering.

This article from HealthScout last week reported on U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher's decision to launch a campaign to combat suicide, the eighth-leading cause of death in the United States. More than 650,000 people try to kill themselves every year. More than 30,000 are successful, according to the government's statistics.

Satcher says suicide prevention is everyone's business. The new campaign is targeting schools, workplaces, retirement homes and prisons. It aims to provide more resources to relatives, doctors, clergy and others who are in a position to recognize people at risk for suicide. The highest risk groups include white men and people older than 65. The suicide rate also is growing rapidly for young people and has doubled in the past 20 years among young black men between the ages of 15 and 19.

To find out more about suicide, you can read this fact sheet from the National Institute of Mental Health or this one from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

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