Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Suicides Can Be Prevented

August 22, 2012

Description: Suicide losses can be reduced by prioritizing education and the reduction of stigma associated with mental health conditions.

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Mental Health Association of San Francisco extends condolences and support to the family and friends of Hollywood director Tony Scott who died by suicide Sunday, August 19. Mr. Scott’s death deprives his family and community of a loved individual and the world of an exceptional creative artist.

Suicide is a tragedy that impacts thousands of people in every nation. In our country, it is the tenth leading cause of death. More than 3,800 Californians die from suicide annually– more than 36,000 American lives lost each year. In 90% of cases death by suicide is the result of life stressors and underlying mental health conditions. These personal stressors are exacerbated by social stigma and bias that prevents people from discussing or getting help for their personal struggles. But the burden of suicide and its attendant losses can be reduced.

Across the world, nations which have prioritized reduction of stigma around mental health conditions along with suicide prevention education have decreased suicidal behaviors and deaths in their community. To accomplish this many things are needed, including leadership from our health, military and other public officials and public/private partnerships such as the National Action Alliance on Suicide Prevention, which was launched on World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, 2010.

More than anything, however, to reduce suicide we need a transformation of our public discourse around mental health and mental illness. We need to break down the shame, stigma and silence that foster isolation, limit community support and funding and deter people from accessing services that can make a difference.

Everyone can play a role in in this by fostering an open, supportive environment that promotes both mental health and personal dignity. The time for now to support each other and our families and to dedicate ourselves to ending this most tragic result of mental illness by eliminating stigma once and for all.

For more information contact:
Jenifer Reeve, Communications & Development Director
415-341-9516 / jenifer@mentalhealthsf.org
870 Market Street, Suite 928, SF, CA

SOURCE Mental Health Association of San Francisco

Source: PR Newswire