Suicide is the most preventable cause of death


Sept. 8-14, 2014 is National Suicide Prevention Week

Janet Hackert, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Harrison County, University of Missouri Extension

Sadly, suicide has become a common cause of death. In Missouri, there are 16.3 attempted suicides each day and many of those attempts are made by young people ages 15 to 19.

Gary Hillebrand from Preferred Family Healthcare (PFH) Prevention Services, a mental health facility offering treatment services throughout Missouri, parts of Kansas and in San Antonio, Texas, said that suicide is the most preventable kind of death.

“The suicide rate these days (approximately 13.7 per 100,000 a year) is like as if a full airliner took off and crashed every other day, killing everyone on board,” Hillebrand said. “If this happened, we’d ground planes till we figured out and corrected the problem! The same needs to happen with suicide. Suicide is preventable.”

Hillebrand also described and corrected some of the common myths about suicide and suicide prevention. For example, confronting a person about suicide mostly likely will lower, not raise, the anxiety they are experiencing about their negative feelings. Knowing someone cares enough to ask directly can make a big difference. Also, it’s not just for experts to take care of — everyone can help prevent suicide.

Learn more about warning signs and the steps to take to prevent suicide, as well as resource information, at


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