This is the latest in a series of posts highlighting a chapter from the "Health of Massachusetts", a comprehensive new report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).
Suicide is a significant, and preventable, public health issue. While the term “suicide” refers to completed suicides, it is also important that we recognize the impact of nonfatal self-inflicted injuries such as suicide attempts or intentionally cutting or burning oneself.
The MDPH Suicide Prevention Program works to reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts in the Commonwealth. The program employs prevention strategies recommended by the National Suicide Prevention Plan, which include increasing public awareness of suicide as a public health problem, reducing the stigma of help-seeking, depression screening, skills training for mental health, substance abuse and healthcare professionals, gatekeeper training for the general public and services for families and communities after a suicide occurs.
The impact of suicide is enormous. Experts estimate, very conservatively, that for every suicide there are six loved ones left behind to experience the complicated grief that follows. Along with the sadness that attends any death, most of these survivors also suffer from guilt, feeling that they could have “done something” to prevent the suicide.
Sharing the Massachusetts Approach to Fighting a National Epidemic posted on May 21
Today I had the distinct pleasure of appearing before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations at a hearing entitled “What are the State Governments Doing to Combat the Opioid Abuse Epidemic?”. It was an honor …Continue Reading Sharing the Massachusetts Approach to Fighting a National Epidemic
Weekly Flu Report, May 15, 2015 posted on May 15
Rates of flu-like illness continued to decline over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. The full report can be viewed here.
Highlights of the May 13th Public Health Council Meeting posted on May 13
This month’s meeting of the Public Health Council featured a series of informational updates and presentations from various DPH programs. First, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management Director Mary Clark provided an overview of DPH’s activities to support the health and medical aspects of the …Continue Reading Highlights of the May 13th Public Health Council Meeting