Media, mental health professionals discuss working together on suicide prevention

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  • Anonyme Orem, UT
    April 8, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    Ann Blake Tracy, you said “JAMA published a study showing 40% of teaching hospitals, like UNI, have drug company ties.”

    Here are the facts: On April 2, 2014 JAMA published a study of the prevalence of academic medical center (AMC) leaders on pharmaceutical company boards of directors. The research letter can be viewed on the JAMA website. Here is its conclusion: “Of the 50 companies examined, 3 lacked public data on governance. Nineteen of 47 companies (40%) had at least 1 board member who concurrently held a position at an AMC.” So the 40% refers to the number of drug companies with board members (about 41 individuals) who also hold a position at an AMC, NOT to the percentage of hospitals with drug company ties.

    I agree that any association between a pharmaceutical company and a teaching hospital is concerning. But the JAMA study does NOT show that 40% of teaching hospitals have drug company ties. Your comment also implied that UNI is somehow suspect, but the study doesn't even mention the U of U. Making misleading statements about the legitimacy of a mental health resource may prevent someone from getting the help he or she needs.

  • Ann Blake Tracy Logandale, NV
    April 8, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    Without question suicide is a huge problem plaguing our society. But in searching the cause few see the obvious as the cause even when admitted due to the huge amount of revenue associated with it. That is the drugs prescribed to those who are depressed - antidepressants which carry warnings of suicidal ideation. A decade ago antidepressants were given an FDA Black Box Warning (the next step from a complete ban).

    Now we should feel better knowing that media, who receive massive amounts of advertising dollars to promote these drugs, and groups like NAMI, who was shown by a Senate Probe led by Senator Charles Grassley to be 75% funded by Pharma, are looking for answers? Also just days ago JAMA published a study showing 40% of teaching hospitals, like UNI, have drug company ties.

    Propublica in their Dollars for Docs program is working to stop these vested interests. Until it is no longer financially advantageous to those searching I would not expect real answers to suicide prevention. The answer will continue to be "Take your drugs and don't worry about the suicidal ideation warning. It will not affect you, only others."

  • Anonyme Orem, UT
    April 7, 2014 11:28 p.m.

    DN Subscriber, if you're really interested in knowing if "specific suicide prevention programs actually work," the JAMA published a comprehensive review (Oct. 2005, J. John Mann et al) which evaluated the effectiveness of suicide prevention strategies. The authors used studies published between 1966 and 2005 to examine evidence for the effectiveness of specific suicide-preventive interventions. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's website also has a page which reports key research findings on preventing suicide.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 7, 2014 9:36 p.m.

    Suicide is a real problem, and it is devastating for family members, as well as fatal for the instigator. It is a totally irrational act, seemingly confirming some mental problems that may exist.

    However, rational people, no matter how much they care about the issue, may not be able to prevent people with irrational suicidal ideation from acting on their impulses.

    What evidence is there that specific suicide prevention programs actually work? Or, are we throwing tons of money at a problem to relieve ourselves from survivor's guilt and to show how much we care, but with little actual good to show for it?

    If these programs work, then great. But, let's look at all of the various programs and as they are tried, get rid of the ones that do not work, and concentrate on those which do.

    The mental health profession is becoming quite a monster, but the benefits of their multitude of programs may help the patients less than the cost of the services we pay for.

    Showing compassion is nice, but let's base programs on hard data.

  • Polly Scott Centerville, UT
    April 7, 2014 7:52 p.m.

    This is wonderful. It's awesome that organizations are working together to help reduce the number of suicides. People also need to understand the contributing factors to suicide. Pornography addiction is a factor sometimes in feelings of hopelessness and suicide. Many people need help overcoming this, but don't know where to turn. I hope these organizations take into account the negative affects of pornography on mental health.