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The Sound of Silence

A simple question has left me inconsolably in tears.

Would you rather a child die of suicide after you had been working with them in a Wellness Center for a year or have a child die of suicide without having worked with them?

The answer was easy. I would rather put all of my time and energy into trying to save a child in a Wellness Center and still lose them rather than be sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone to let me help and not be allowed to. I imagine it's like a doctor on the battlefield with soldiers dying all around him simply because his hands were tied.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provided about $35 million in 2017 to fund research into “suicide prevention,” with another $68 million devoted to the category of “suicide,” according to the agency’s statistics. Either that work should be critiqued as invalid or we should be spending all our efforts to implement its findings with fidelity. Implementing one or two, here or there the way we are now is not working and if it would have research would have suggested that one or two may do brought forth valuable insights from research into what to do to prevent suicide. The conclusion was that it would require a comprehensive approach that includes nine strategies that when combined give the best possible chance at reducing suicide rates.

It is imperative that we implement all 9 strategies simultaneously with fidelity to determine if the prescription will work. If after implementing it someone would like to do a component analysis to see if a smaller prescription may suffice that could be an extension of the work but until then it is unethical that we do anything less.