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    We Can Prevent Suicide

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | September 8th, 2019

    We Can Prevent Suicide

    When I heard that Kate Spade committed suicide, I wondered why. Here is a mother who appeared to have everything and yet she ended her life. Could it have been prevented?  September 8th -14th is National Suicide Prevention Week and September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.

    • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 14 – 34 and the 4th leading cause of death for ages 35 – 54.
    • In 2017, 47, 173 Americans died by suicide. On average, there are 129 suicides per day in the United States. 1.4 million Americans attempted suicide.
    • 90% of those who died by suicide had a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their death.
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that around 800,000 people around the globe die from suicide every year, for an average of one person every 40 seconds.

    According to the American Foundation for Suicide Preventionthere is no single cause of suicide. It most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition.

    What can you do?  Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement has the Know the Signs (KTS) campaign. The campaign encourages us to know the warning signs of suicide, find the words to offer support to someone, and reach out to local resources.

    Know the warning signs – Pain is not always obvious.  Signs include:

    • Talking about death or suicide
    • Seeking methods for self harm, such as searching online or obtaining a gun
    • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
    • Sudden mood changes
    • No sense of purpose
    • Increased alcohol or drug use
    • Changes in sleep

    Find the words –  have resources available.

    • Start the conversation – plan the conversation for a time when you will not be in a hurry and can spend time with the person.
    • Listen, express concern , reassure
    • Create a safety plan
    • Get help
    • Please click here to find out what not to say.

    Reach out – You are not alone in helping someone in crisis.

    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
    • Crisis Text lineText “EMM” to 741741 to text confidentially with a trained crisis counselor for free, 24/7.

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    Secure Your Copy of Sincerely, Your Gynecologist by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.

    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

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    Secure Your Copy of Letters to My Sisters by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.

    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.

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