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Private pain, shared responsibly: talking about suicide with neighbors and friends

Are you thinking about killing yourself?

Pardon me for speaking so forwardly. It’s my responsibility to ask that question and make sure you’re OK, or get the professional help you need.

Of all the lessons I learned in a day spent last week getting certified in Mental Health First Aid, in a New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene classroom energized by eager and empathic facilitators and trainees, this one hit home most powerfully: that intervention, even by a barely trained layperson, can deter suicide.

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