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Mental Health Awareness Month: Focusing on Suicide Prevention Strategies for our Youth

By: Elinore F. McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use This week marks the first full week of Mental Health Awareness Month.  I am pleased to share that we have started this week with SAMHSA’s 14th Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. The focus of this event was on suicide prevention in our youth.  We chose to focus on this issue because of the disturbing and unacceptable rate of suicide in young Americans. Suicide is one of the ten leading causes of death in the United States and the numbers who die by suicide have only increased in recent years. The rate of youth suicide increased by 49% from 9.7 per 100,000 in 2007 to 14.5 per 100,000 in 2017. 

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