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New Suicide Prevention Strategies for NH

PHOTO: Jerry Reed says efforts like the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention forge public-private partnerships that provide prevention strategies for people of all ages.  Courtesy SPRC
PHOTO: Jerry Reed says efforts like the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention forge public-private partnerships that provide prevention strategies for people of all ages. Courtesy SPRC
November 9, 2012

BEDFORD, N.H. – Mental health professionals say suicide is the second leading cause of death for young adults in New Hampshire, and they are gathering today (Friday) in Bedford for the 9th Annual State Suicide Prevention Conference to craft prevention strategies.

Dr. Jerry Reed, director of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, says a big focus will be on trying to reach individuals at risk for suicide, to make sure they have access to help where they live and work.

"Some of the highest rates are for those in the middle years of life, those from about 25 to 64. So, we have to engage our workplaces far more than we've been able to do either in New Hampshire, or frankly, around the country."

Reed says suicide claimed 38,000 lives nationwide in 2010, although New Hampshire has made great strides over the last decade in combating the problem.

Suicide rates have risen sharply for active-duty members of the military since 2005, according to published reports, and Reed says New Hampshire and other states need to be prepared to help returning military veterans.

"There are strong, sound partnerships with the National Guard units in the State of New Hampshire to really make sure the men and women who serve and come back, are coming back to ready communities to make sure their needs are met."

Reed says efforts like the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention forge public-private partnerships that provide prevention strategies for people of all ages.

"Obviously the holidays come around, so the more we can do to connect our loved ones and our friends and our neighbors to family dinners and events that might be going on the community, all the better; because it really helps promote the concept of connectedness, which I think is just a vital factor."

Reed says the conference will offer prevention strategies for community members, local military, suicide survivors and local providers that they can use to build safety supports around loved ones. Help is also available through the National Suicide Prevention Hotline Lifeline, 800-273-TALK.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH