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Want to know what is on our minds? Find blog posts written here, by the City Club staff, members, and partners. Every week you can find a new edition of #FreeSpeech in the News — a collection of related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century that’s making the news. You’ll also find takes on current events, past forums, and issues surrounding Northeast Ohio. Read on for all things City Club.

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Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Dr. Madelyn S. Gould Discusses Containing the Suicide Contagion at the City Club

Bliss Davis, Content Coordinator, The City Club of Cleveland

Dr. Madelyn S. Gould Discusses Containing the Suicide Contagion at the City Club

According to the Centers for Disease Control, since 1999, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 33 percent across all demographics to become the 10th leading cause of death. The recent suicides of high-profile individuals like designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain have shaken public consciousness and, according to some researchers, the flurry of ensuing media coverage actually leads to more suicides, not the prevention of suicides.

Epidemiologist Dr. Madelyn Gould is one of the country’s leading experts in suicide prevention and causes, and her research has informed most of the modern thinking about suicide, including the concept of "suicide contagion" — how seeing media coverage of a suicide can trigger a suicidal person into action.

Is the rise of suicide contagions responsible for the steady increase in suicides in the U.S.? Can these suicide contagions be contained? If so, how? And, how can we prevent suicide in young people where it remains one of the leading causes of death? See her forum PowerPoint above, and to watch or listen to her presentation, click here.

If you or a loved one is struggling with thoughts of suicide or is going through a crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or the Cuyahoga County Crisis Hotline at 216-623-6888, run by Frontline Services (other local hotlines can be found online). Both services also offer online chat options that can be accessed by clicking the links above.

For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline online chat, access can be found on a desktop by scrolling to the top right corner of the web page or on mobile devices towards the bottom of the home screen, and is available 24/7.

For Cuyahoga County Frontline Services, the chat can be found on the top of the home page on a desktop or mobile device, and is available Monday-Friday, 3 p.m. - 9 p.m. You can also text the Crisis Text Line at 741741, available 24/7 in the U.S. More resources for specific populations can be found on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s website, midway down the home page. You can also seek in-person help from a mental health professional or someone you trust.

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