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Charlotte Talks: After Celebrity Suicides, What Can Be Done To Help Others?

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Flickr / Peabody Awards

Monday, June 18, 2018

Suicide is on the rise in America, and recent celebrity deaths have brought a renewed focus. How can warning signs be spotted? Mike Collins talks with a researcher and two people whose lives have been touched by suicide, including a suicide survivor.

Suicide was labeled a public health crisis in American before this month's CDC report that the country's suicide rate rose a startling 25 percent between 1999 and 2016. (North Carolina's rate climbed 13 percent in that period.)

The report was released in between the deaths of designer Kate Spade and TV chef Anthony Bourdain, and the shock of those deaths led many to wonder what warning signs were missed, and if current prevention efforts are enough.

One immediate effect of the high-profile deaths was a near-doubling of the number of calls to North Carolina's suicide hotline.

What can we say in our conversations with people who might be struggling? What should be done in response to the CDC findings?

GUESTS

Dr. David Goldston, Duke University School of Medicine, associate professor of psychiatry and behavorial sciences

Betsy Rhodes, area director, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - North Carolina chapter

Ricky Witherspoon, suicide survivor; certified peer support specialist with Atrium Health

If you need help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.