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Preventing Suicides in MI With Help and Hope

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flickr/Susanne Nilsson
Suicide prevention advocates in Michigan say it's important to acknowledge that a suicidal person is in crisis, and to stay with them until professional help arrives.

In the wake of two celebrity suicides this week, Michigan health care professionals are urging people to be aware of the warning signs. 


The deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain just three days apart bring renewed attention to the suicide crisis.  A report issued Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds Michigan’s suicide rate rose by nearly one-third between 1999 and 2016.


Pat Smith is the violence prevention program coordinator with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  She says people should not think that asking someone if they’re considering suicide will lead to it happening.


“It truly is a myth,” Smith says.  “Often, people have said, ‘you know, my best friend asked me if I was thinking about suicide, and she helped me get to help...and she saved my life.’”


The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline may be reached 24 hours a day at

1-800-273-8255 (TALK).





Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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