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Take 5 to Save Lives: MA Takes Part in World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10, 2010

WOBURN, Mass. - "Take five to save lives." That's the message being delivered in Massachusetts and around the globe today, on World Suicide Prevention Day. The National Council for Suicide Prevention has partnered with groups in Massachusetts for the effort, which is focused on raising awareness and providing people with effective steps to help prevent suicide - with the idea that it only takes five minutes.

Dr. Dan Reidenberg of the National Council for Suicide Prevention says step number one is to learn the signs.

"Somebody talking about suicide, writing about suicide, looking for information on the Internet about it; people expressing the feeling of hopelessness, like there's no future for them; somebody who has changes in their substance abuse pattern - on top of mental illness."

The issue of suicide stretches across ethnic, education and socio-economic lines, Reidenberg says, and it is important to reach out to others and to seek help if you or someone you know needs it.

Stigma still surrounds depression and other forms of mental illness, the doctor adds, and many people feel that they are intruding on others by offering to help.

"It is much, much better to ask the question, than go to a funeral, and it really is quite that basic. We need to help them, because if they weren't struggling with these illnesses, they wouldn't be thinking like that. And you can actually be - anybody can be - a life support for somebody."

He says the best number if you, or someone you know, needs help is: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

More information about the campaign is available at www.ncsponline.org.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA