DEPRESSION: Out of the Shadows
Take One Step: A PBS Health Campaign
DEPRESSION: Out of the Shadows + TAKE ONE STEP: Caring for Depression, with Jane Pauley  

Ask an Expert: Suicide
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Read Dr. Charles Nemeroff's bio >

Learn more about suicide:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
American Association of Suicidology:
The Jed Foundation:


How many suicides and attempts are there per year? How well do we respond?

DR. CHARLES NEMEROFF: So there are about 30,000 suicides in The United States per year. And this year was the first time in a decade that we've actually seen an increase in the rate of suicide. For the ten previous years, we've seen a decrease. And now we suddenly have an increase. And we also know that there are about 500,000 suicide attempts every year.

Now, when someone attempts suicide, where are they taken? To the emergency room. And that raises the issue of how well emergency room physicians are trained in dealing with suicide victims or patients who've attempted suicide. And the answer is, not very well. Emergency room physicians are largely trained in triage. They're trained in dealing with gunshot wounds, knife wounds, surgical emergencies. And they generally are not very well trained in psychiatry.

More Topics

Causes of Depression | Depression in Youth | Depression in Elders | Depression in the World | Depression Treatment

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