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Opinion

Doing what is not known to be effective is not the way forward on suicide prevention

By ISG Senator Stan Kutcher      

For policy-makers, it is essential that interventions that are applied with the goal of suicide prevention be known to do just that—prevent suicide. Otherwise we may engage in costly activities that make us feel better, but that do not do better.

Suicide is a concerning public health and clinical care challenge. We owe it to all people, including those who grieve for loved ones and others who have lost their lives to suicide to put into place interventions that been robustly demonstrated to show positive impact in decreasing rates of suicide, interventions that we know save lives, writes ISG Senator Stanley Kutcher who is also a psychiatrist. Image courtesy of Pixabay

In Canada and globally, we will soon be marking suicide prevention day. And while there will be scores of events, gallons of ink used and overwhelming numbers of posts on social media, the stark reality will be that much of this activity will have little to do with what this day is meant to promote—successful application of interventions that we know will reduce rates of suicide. For policy-makers, it is essential that interventions that are applied with the goal of suicide prevention be known to do just that—prevent suicide. Otherwise we may engage in costly activities that make us feel better, but that do not do better.

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