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Medical News & Perspectives |

Preventing Suicide’s Ripple Effects Takes Coordinated Effort

Bridget M. Kuehn, MSJ
JAMA. 2013;310(6):570-571. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.117024.
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Chicago—The anguished cries from the family of a wife and mother who killed herself with an intentional drug overdose still ring in the ears of Richard McKeon, PhD, MPH, a former psychiatric emergency services clinician who is now chief of the Suicide Prevention Branch at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

In the years that followed, McKeon and his colleagues worked with one of the woman’s daughters as she repeatedly attempted suicide. “The anguish is always there,” said McKeon at a SAMHSA event in June promoting the National Strategy on Suicide Prevention.

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Primary care physicians, social services providers, and others are being recruited to help US efforts to prevent suicide by making help widely available.

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