Press-Republican

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September 2, 2013

Backpack Project to raise suicide awareness

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Experts will also be on hand to talk about suicide prevention, including the best methods to identify people who may potentially be considering suicide.

“Over 90 percent of people who choose to take their life have a diagnosis of depression, anxiety and also substance abuse,” Black said.

“We need to start the conversation if we want to make suicide a ‘never’ event.”

FOCUS NEEDED

Black compared the nation’s suicide rates with homicide rates, noting that four times as many people die from suicide than homicide.

“We’ve talked a lot about crime prevention and have done a really good job in educating people about how to prevent violent acts. We need to focus that same kind of education on suicide prevention.”

Living in a rural community adds to complexity of suicide prevention, she added. With an increased lack of services, transportation problems and the isolation associated with rural communities, it can be more difficult to identify potential suicide victims.

Talking with people and identifying the potential for suicide will help to reduce the barriers a rural community faces in preventing suicide, Black said.

The Backpack Project is funded through a suicide-prevention grant for Clinton County secured by State Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury).

Email Jeff Meyers:jmeyers@pressrepublican.com

MORE INFO The Backpack Project will be held Tuesday, Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the front lawn of CVPH Medical Center. Free school backpacks will be given to the first 100 people who attend. For more information, contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness: Champlain Valley at 561-2685.

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