Lanny Berman, executive director of the American Association of Suicidology, said, "Both global and national increases in the number and rate of suicides through 2009, and as even more recent data indicates, through 2010, should concern all of us."
Prevention of suicides and unintentional injuries would extend the life of those whose deaths would not have otherwise occurred by some three decades, he said.
"We know a great deal about how to prevent suicides, but have yet to overcome centuries of stigmatic attitudes -- and the consequent lack of political will -- to build the collaborative effort to turn these many lives from despair and hopelessness to ones of meaning and brighter futures," Berman added.
Another expert, Simon Rego, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City, said that "the time has come for clinicians, public health officials, state and county health departments, legislatures and corporations to come together and direct our efforts toward understanding the etiology and prevention of injury, in particular by poisoning via prescription medications, falls in the elderly, and most importantly, suicide -- which is the only intentional injury in this group."
Recently, the U.S. government along with private groups like Facebook, launched a program focusing on suicide prevention.
In 2009, more than 37,000 Americans took their own lives, and more than 500,000 were at risk of suicide, according to Pamela Hyde, administrator of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The new program will have $56 million of federal money to help fund suicide prevention programs under the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act. The act was signed into law in memory of the son of Gordon Smith, president of the National Association of Broadcasters and a former U.S
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