September 10th is International Suicide Prevention Day

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September 10, International Suicide Prevention Day, focuses on a public health problem that leads to twice as many deaths annually in the US as AIDS, 40% more deaths than homicide, is the 2nd leading cause of death of college students, 3rd of teenagers and touches people of every age, culture and socio-economic background with the elderly, middle-age men and mentally ill comprising the highest risk groups.

“Preventing Suicide Is Good Business” is the theme of the site which allows NYC businesses and corporations to take advantage of free individualized consultations and technical support, specially designed trainings, information about best practices, evide

On the day before September 11, cities around the world are focusing on preventing suicide, a problem that leads to more fatalities than war throughout the world with major activities taking place locally and in Washington D.C., where a major press conference will be held at the National Press Club that will be attended by three members of the President’s cabinet, the Secretary of the Army and key leaders in suicide prevention from around the country announcing new initiatives to reduce suicide in the U.S.

September 10, International Suicide Prevention Day, focuses on a public health problem that leads to twice as many deaths annually in the US as AIDS, 40% more deaths than homicide, is the 2nd leading cause of death of college students, 3rd of teenagers and touches people of every age, culture and socio-economic background with the elderly, middle-age men and mentally ill comprising the highest risk groups.

To bring attention to this problem, Facebook will be sending out messages to 10,000,000 users promoting “Take 5 To Save Lives” at http://www.take5tosavelives.com which is a website that provides guidelines and information on how to respond to someone you think may be in crisis or at risk of suicide.

The Samaritans, which in NYC operates a 24 hour confidential suicide prevention hotline for those who are depressed and in crisis at (212) 673-3000 also offers support to those who have lost a loved one to suicide through its Safe Place program (go to http://www.samaritansnyc.org/safeplace), is a member of the National Council for Suicide Prevention which is behind the Take 5 site.

Tied to Suicide Prevention Day, Samaritans has launched its Promoting Corporate Wellness website at http://www.promotingcorporatewellness.com on Wednesday, September 8, designed to educate corporate leadership, business owners, managers, personnel directors, employee assistance program staff, etc. of the many ways suicide directly impacts their worker’s mental health, emotional well-being and productivity as well as their businesses’ bottom line as part of an ongoing project with NYS Office of Mental Health targeting those populations that are high-risk but have often been overlooked when it comes to suicide prevention outreach and education.

“Preventing Suicide Is Good Business” is the theme of the site which allows NYC businesses and corporations to take advantage of free individualized consultations and technical support, specially designed trainings, information about best practices, evidence-based programs and resources, and experts they can utilize to improve their company’s prevention planning and readiness.

Background info on Samaritans:
The Samaritans of New York is the local branch of the international humanitarian movement with centers in 42 countries. A non-religious, non-profit organization, Samaritans is devoted to helping people who are in crisis and feeling suicidal. Volunteer-run programs practice a communications-based response called "befriending," which emphasizes listening to what a person in crisis is feeling and thinking without expressing personal judgments or opinions. The Samaritans 24-hour suicide prevention hotline is the city's only confidential hotline devoted to preventing suicide. It operates seven days a week and is staffed by volunteers who go through intensive training. For more information, visit http://www.samaritansnyc.org.

On Corporate impact of depression and suicide:
Depression is a leading cause of absenteeism and reduced productivity at work (nationally, depression cost the economy $83.1 billion in 2000, up 10% from 1990; in New York State, depression and suicide cost $3.4-$4.0 billion annually). A minimum of 7% of full-time workers battled depression in the past year (the leading cause of suicide). Occupations most impacted by depression include: entertainment, sports and media; office and administrative support; financial; sales; legal; and management.

Enhanced and systematic efforts to identify and treat depression in the workplace significantly improve employee health and productivity, likely leading to lower costs overall for the employer, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. NYC businesses are positioned to help thousands of employees who are in crisis and prevent a potentially destructive situation from escalating and damaging that person, their colleagues and workplace.

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Adrienne Rumble

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