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Think Out Loud

As We Are: Suicide

Suicide: it is an act that few people talk about, yet many people are acquainted with. A recent query to OPB’s Public Insight Network elicited a huge response — profoundly sad stories of people who have lost their spouse or child, parent or friend, to suicide. I was struck by how many of the responses included a date in the opening sentence. They were the precise dates when one life was lost, and many others changed.

We also heard from people who have considered suicide or attempted it themselves. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.

In the next installment of our As We Are series (hour-long conversations with people who are often talked about instead of heard from) we speak with people who have been impacted by suicide.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health more than 90 percent of suicides stem from a mood disorder or psychiatric illness — though many are undiagnosed, or untreated or both. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 10 to 24 year olds. It is of particular concern among veterans, men, and seniors. And of course the economy makes this year — and this time of year — difficult for many people.

But most people agree that suicide can be prevented, with treatment, if people know the signs to look for. Do you know those signs? Have you noticed them in people you love — or in yourself? How has suicide touched your life?

Special note: this show was rescheduled from December due to inclement weather.

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