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Arlington, VA— In a typical high school classroom, three students - one boy and two girls - have attempted suicide over the past year.
Since the U.S. Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Suicide in 1999, focus has increased on suicide as a public health crisis—which results in 30,000 deaths a year among all Americans—but much remains to be done.
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) - focusing on an area of special need - has published a set ofguides to support people who attempt suicide, are treated in hospital emergency rooms, and survive.
An estimated 30-50% of individuals who die from suicide have made previous attempts.
"The guides bridge a gap in suicide prevention strategies," said NAMI executive director Michael J. Fitzpatrick.
"They offer support to people most involved in crisis of a suicide attempt and are intended to reduce the risk of additional attempts."
Each set consists of three brochures in English - addressing the different audiences - and are intended for distribution in emergency rooms and other professional settings. Sample copies have been sent to approximately 400 hospital emergency departments around the country. The first two titles also are provided in Spanish.
NAMI developed the guides in partnership with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, Education Development Center, funded by the federal Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).