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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Why have suicide deaths increased so dramatically?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jun 12, 2018 4:15 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, June 12, 2018:

The Centers for Disease Control reported last week that suicide rates have increased -- dramatically -- across the country from 1999 to 2016.  The CDC said suicide rates went up in 49 states.  Nevada had a 1% decrease during that time period and was the only state without more suicides.

The suicide rate increased more than 34% in Pennsylvania during those 17 years.  That's a substanial number of people taking their own lives. About 2,000 Pennsylvanians die from suicide each year. 

It's a topic that should be discussed more, but often doesn't get attention until a well-known person takes their own life.  Last week, designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Boudain died by suicide and that has prompted a national conversation.

On Tuesday's Smart Talk, we'll ask why suicide rates have increased, the signs that someone may be thinking of ending their life and how and where to get help.

Appearing on the program are Govan Martin, Chair of the Board of Directors of the organization Prevent Suicide PA, Kelly Gollick, Executive Director of CONTACT Helpline in Central Pennsylvania and Perri Rosen, who is a school psychologist and Project Director of the Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Grant.  She is employed by the Office of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) under the Department of Human Services.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs help, call

1-800-273-TALK (8255) or in Central PA, call 2-1-1. 

Sometimes you just need a friendly ear and someone to listen.

Dial 800-932-4616. 

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Kelly Gollick, Perri Rosen & Govan Martin

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