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Awareness, Education Focus of Suicide Prevention Week


Friday, September 13, 2013   

PHOENIX – Awareness and education is the focus of National Suicide Prevention Week in Arizona and across the country this week.

Lisa Brattain with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says recognizing and treating depression are major steps toward preventing suicides.

The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show suicide rates have been on an upward trend since 1999.

Brattain says depression, like other diseases, can be treated.

"An illness is an illness, and depression is treatable, and suicide is preventable,” she stresses. “We just need to be armed with the right tools to do that."

Brattain lost her son Kurt to suicide when he was 19 and a college freshman. She says an educational DVD set is available free to schools from her organization called More than Sad.

She says peers often notice signs of suicide before family members, and they need to know what to do.

Brattain adds when people withdraw from friends or start trying to give away prized possessions, it should be cause for alarm.

"Knowing that those kinds of things, although they may be subtle, you know for most people, could be pretty significant warning signs," she says.

The latest figures available show more than 1,100 suicides in Arizona during 2011. For 24/7 crisis counseling, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255.

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