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Medical News & Perspectives
August 14, 2013

Preventing Suicide’s Ripple Effects Takes Coordinated Effort

JAMA. 2013;310(6):570-571. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.117024

Chicago—The anguished cries from the family of a wife and mother who killed herself with an intentional drug overdose still ring in the ears of Richard McKeon, PhD, MPH, a former psychiatric emergency services clinician who is now chief of the Suicide Prevention Branch at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

In the years that followed, McKeon and his colleagues worked with one of the woman’s daughters as she repeatedly attempted suicide. “The anguish is always there,” said McKeon at a SAMHSA event in June promoting the National Strategy on Suicide Prevention.