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suicide

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This story was produced as a project for the California Health Journalism Fellowship, a program of the Center for Health Journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

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Just because a medical board takes action, it doesn’t mean that the action is adequate. Consider the case of Dr. Reinaldo de los Heros, a Maine psychiatrist who columnist William Heisel first wrote about back in 2010.

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Mental illness has been a trending topic in the news. While we often see stories about it, not much attention is given to how the Latino community is faring. A 2016 California Fellow sets out to change that with a series on stigma and mental health needs in Southern California communities.

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The Yurok, California’s largest Native American tribe, recently submitted an emergency declaration to Gov. Jerry Brown and the federal government in response to a rash of suicides among the tribe’s young men. What's driving this trend, and what can be done?

Picture of Martha Rosenberg

 Drug makers always insist they are unaware of their drugs’ true risks until a wide swath of the population uses them and safety signals emerge, but the story of the antidepressant Paxil shows that is not always the case.

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The Mental Health Transition Team works with parents and psychiatric hospitals to develop re-entry plans, which could include designating a staff member the child feels comfortable checking in with every day and strategies so students don’t fall behind in school.

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Many are baffled why the suicide rate in the United States is rising despite antidepressant use being at an all time high. Suicide has risen to 38,000 a year, says USA Today, after falling in the 1990s.

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During Suicide Prevention Week advocates are conducting suicide awareness campaigns. But there is not evidence that awareness reduces suicide. More effective suicide prevention approaches are being ignored.

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Hiding causes of death can become a major hurdle in getting accurate reads on health problems. Calling suicides something else on death certificates or striking the word “suicide” from the public record will have a similar effect.

Picture of Susan Gilbert

A death notice in The New York Times last week caught the eye of one of my colleagues, who circulated it around the office. It was for an emerita professor of psychology at Cornell who committed suicide after receiving an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Are there more such death notices to come?

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The Center for Health Journalism is dedicated to supporting journalists covering two of the biggest stories of our time — the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism and inequities in America. We provide reporters with intensive training instituteswebinars and tips about craft and content and are providing deep and sustained support for reporters and their newsrooms in this historic and difficult moment. You can donate through the USC web portal at this link. Pressed for time? You can also text to donate! No amount is too small; just send a text to 41-444 and type the message CHJ for further instructions.

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