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Suicide Prevention

HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Suicide numbers around the country keep rising, and the recent deaths of two celebrities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain brought heightened awareness to the topic. USM psychology professor, Michael Anestis addresses the topic in his newly published book. Anestis dives into statistics and provides reasons why some many people feel the need to take their own life. He also explains what he sees as a possible solution, advocating for a term called “means safety,” which reduces access to objects that are often used when committing suicide.

“A lot of time what that's going to come down to is making people less able to act on suicide, and that means, ‘means safety,’” Anestis said. “That means our nation and our state needs to come to a decision that we are going to have difficult conversations about things like firearms, and difficult conversations about red flag or emergency risk protection order laws. That may make it easier to have at risk folks be reduced to lower risks because if they don't come to see us in a clinic, we can't help them. Unless, we have some other tool in place ahead of time.”

According to statistics, suicide comes in as the 10th leading cause of death in America, kill more than 45,000 people. Also, over half of suicide deaths come from the use of a firearm, and 70 percent of those suicides take place in Mississippi, which is the highest percentage in the country. For help call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.



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