By John Richter
September 10, 2014
For more than a half century suicide hotlines have been cornerstones in our efforts to prevent the tragedy of suicide, and they have saved countless lives. These services are staffed by trained responders who attempt to convince distraught callers from harming themselves, and ideally connecting them with help. But such worthy and necessary hedges against suicide must not be our only response. Closing the gap between the first onset of emerging mental health problems and professional treatment needs to be part of a more comprehensive public health approach to suicide. This will require all of us to be more literate about mental health and wellness.