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Suicide is a major public health problem in the U.S. that can be prevented.

There are about 36,000 suicides in the U.S. each year and about 600,000 attempted suicides are treated in hospital emergency departments. Even when the suicide attempt does not result in death, the individual and family suffer great pain and anguish, says Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, assistant professor of psychiatry at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. He offers some factors that can cause some adults to attempt suicide.

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Dr. Bennett says it is very important for individuals who are suffering from mental disorders to see a mental health counselor. He says there is no specific formula for knowing if someone plans to attempt suicide, but offers this advice to family members.

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Dr. Bennett advises family members or close friends to make sure an individual who might be thinking about suicide gets help from their primary care physician or a mental health counselor. Or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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