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Our nation has a large and growing public health problem called suicide. It is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and it is preventable. The Centers for Disease Control indicates suicide was responsible for more than 47,000 deaths in 2017, resulting in about one death every 11 minutes and it affects all ages. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 10 to 34 years of age, the fourth leading cause among people 35 to 54 years of age, and the eighth leading cause among people 55 to 64 years of age.

While the causes of suicide vary, depression is often an underlying factor. Most of us periodically have what is called “situational depression,” such as the understandable sadness that follows severe loss or death, but what is more typical of harmful depression is when there is no particular situation, no identifiable “reason” for it.

 

 

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