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Wed., Nov. 16, 2011, 10:43 a.m.

The sadness of suicides

Was just reading Cathy's post below when the police scanners in the newsroom started screaming with activity, sirens and lots of voices. A woman just jumped from the Monroe Street Bridge, a block or two away from The Spokesman-Review building.

We only report suicides when it is done in a public manner, such as a bridge jump. But our scanners tell a bigger story. We often hear of police being called to a home where a person has killed himself or herself -- and many, many calls of people attempting suicide.

As the CDC recently reported:

Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are important public health concerns in the United States. In 2008, a total of 36,035 persons died as a result of suicide, and approximately 666,000 persons visited hospital emergency departments for nonfatal, self-inflicted injuries.

As children in Catholic school, we were taught to say the "Hail Mary" when we heard fire and ambulance sirens. I wonder, what is an appropriate response when you hear suicide attempts over the police scanner at work?

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