OTHER OPINIONS: Suicide screening tool offers hope for prevention

By The Nashville Tennessean

It’s one of the leading causes of death. The U.S. military has begun to focus on it after years of neglect. Though it damages the ranks of America’s law enforcement agencies and is rampant in U.S. jails and prisons, there it is still a seldom-discussed secret. Suicide, one of the leading causes of death, is considered by many public-health experts to be an epidemic.
And it’s preventable.
So it is heartening to see that a group of institutions led by Columbia University and with support from the National Institute for Mental Health, has developed a screening tool that can predict suicide attempts.
The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale, as the standardized classification method is called (http://www.cssrs.columbia.edu/), appears to be showing as much as a 50 percent reduction in suicide attempts compared to other methods.
If bullied schoolchildren, war veterans with PTSD, money troubles and drug addiction, and highly stressed police officers can be evaluated with precision and efficiency, this epidemic will begin to subside.
Nashville Tennessean

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