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National Call To Action Addressing Suicide

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
National Call To Action Addressing Suicide

The U.S. Surgeon General’s Office has released six actions that can be taken to address the public health issue of suicide.

Michael Anderson is Regional Director Upper Cumberland Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network. Anderson said the Surgeon General is focusing on best practices through evidence based approaches that have worked.

“I think it’s important to note that we’ve already been doing these things here in this state,” Anderson said. “With respect to broad based public health response. Tennessee has its own unique organization in the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network.”

Anderson said the directive addresses things like limiting access to lethal means, care transition and improving the use of suicide data and enhancing crisis care.

However, Anderson said the state’s Suicide Prevention Network will look to further implement the six items. He said he expects this to happen when the Advisory Council meets.

“We will have more on the newest six as we work through our Advisory Council,” Anderson said. “To see how those newest six they just released in the last couple of days. So, as we we go into our Advisory Council meetings in the coming months we will be updating our goals to align with those.”

Anderson said he views the newest actions as a clarification of the 2001 national strategy to address Suicide.

“Lets concentrate on best practices, these evidence based approaches that have worked,” Anderson said. “The Surgeon General has asked each state to look at active, broad based public health responses to suicide risk and care for those who are struggling with thoughts of suicide.”

Anderson said for the public, it is still important to communicate with someone who might be dealing with thoughts of suicide. He said for those struggling, they should know they are not alone in Tennessee and he hopes more can be done to break the stigmas around reaching out for help.


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