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Silent Epidemic

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About The Program
Surgeon General David Satcher declared that "the nation must address suicide as a serious public health problem and put into place for the new millennium national strategies to prevent the loss of life and the suffering suicide causes." The "call to action" launches an effort to educate everyone from school counselors to parents and even hairdressers on how to spot signs of trouble.

The Silent Epidemic is a response to the Surgeon General's call to action to prevent suicide. This program is intended to be "an eye opener" — before it's too late. Sadly, most parents and peers do not know how to approach the problem of suicide when it confronts them. Using dramatization and documentary footage, The Silent Epidemic educates adults and young adults about how to recognize warning signs and secure help for a young person contemplating suicide.

The Silent Epidemic is unique in its dual format: talk show and docu-drama. The docu-drama was initially filmed in 1992 and covers an eight-year timespan. It includes dramatic sequences depicting potential warning signs and causes of teen suicide, and interviews with teens who attempted suicide. These individuals clearly and emotionally describe the hopelessness that led to their desperate actions.

The talk-show and studio audience segment was filmed in 2000, and is hosted by CeCe Winans, Grammy-winning recording artist and founder of Sharing the Vision, Inc., and Jerry Johnston, a leading authority on youth culture. The audience contains a mixture of experts on adolescent suicide and teens. We also see updated stories of two of the teens who were interviewed, showing how life truly goes on following such a bout with depression.

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