SUICIDE: Surgeon General To Launch Prevention Campaign
Surgeon General David Satcher announced Sunday the first nationwide campaign against suicide, the "silent killer." He will outline the details at a news conference in Atlanta tomorrow. Speaking this weekend in Nevada before the first U.S. conference on suicide prevention, Satcher "said nearly 31,000 people take their lives each year, making suicide the nation's eighth-leading cause of death." Satcher said the campaign will "call for increased cooperation by doctors, counselors, teachers, clergy and others in identifying and getting help for people at risk for suicide." He concluded, "We cannot afford as a nation to lose our children, our parents, our neighbors and our co-workers to suicide. While we can't retrieve past losses, we can do something together to prevent future losses." Jerry Weyrauch, director of the Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network, said, "Although we know much more about the origins of suicide behavior, most Americans do not know that suicide is preventable in many cases. This is a secret we cannot keep -- people who are at risk are not getting the help they need" (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 10/18). Dr. Morton Silverman, a psychiatrist from the University of Chicago, said, "In addition to destigmatizing suicide, we are trying to identify the best practices -- what seems to work, what are the best chances for success." The four day conference, which drew more than 450 doctors, counselors, educators and victims' family members, was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Sonner, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 10/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.