Mary Weiler, Fargo, Published November 29 2012
Letter: Engaged focus plays key role in preventing suicideOn behalf of the North Dakota Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention I wanted to express my gratitude to The Forum for publishing “After tragic loss, hope,” “Overcoming the stigma of mental illness” and Ryan Johnson’s personal story, “Finding happiness after mental illness” (Nov. 18 and 19). Articles like these encourage and support the suicide prevention work that the North Dakota chapter is doing throughout the state.
The North Dakota chapter has found that a public health approach is needed that recognizes that no single agency or intervention alone can sustain prevention efforts; partnerships and simultaneous initiatives on multiple fronts are needed and most often the most successful.
Clinical care, education and crisis intervention should be complemented by many other approaches including primary and early intervention, research, media and bereavement resources.
What we have also found is when suicide prevention is integrated into the work of educators, social service providers, juvenile justice workers, emergency room workers, faith communities and individuals it can achieve the ultimate goal of saving lives.
The North Dakota chapter believes that communities need effective and sustainable prevention programs in order to identify and target those who are at higher risk for suicide or those who have attempted suicide in the past.
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center, in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, manages and hosts the best practices registry. The purpose of the registry is to identify, review and disseminate information about best practices that address specific objectives of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Currently, more than 90 programs are listed in the registry, which you can visit at www.sprc.org/bpr/index.
Thank you again for supporting our mission to understand and prevent suicide through research education and advocacy, and to reach out to people with mood disorders and those affected by suicide.