Barry Feldman, PhD
James Broadhurst, MD
Suicidologist Barry Feldman, PhD, and family medicine faculty member James Broadhurst, MD, are encouraged by the growing number of people who are speaking out to help suicide survivors and prevent future tragedies. Both UMass Medical School experts were interviewed for an in-depth Telegram & Gazette report on suicide prevention efforts in Central Massachusetts.
“It cuts across all socioeconomic levels, all races and ethnic groups,” Dr. Feldman, assistant professor of psychiatry and director of psychiatric programs in public safety, told the Telegram. “I’d like to see more open dialogue of suicide as a public health problem.”
The former co-chairman of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention noted that the problem needs to be addressed through prevention and raising awareness, intervention and what he called “post-vention,” or providing support and counseling to survivors.
Dr. Broadhurst, professor of family medicine & community health, noted that with the recent advent of state-designated emergency mental health centers and development of brief patient mental health questionnaires, doctors are better able to screen patients in primary care and refer them at all hours for more thorough evaluations.
He stressed the importance of speaking to patients, especially about access to lethal weapons. “If you have somebody who is depressed or feeling at the end of their rope, and they have a gun around, it increases the likelihood the suicide will be completed,” Broadhurst said.
Read the full Telegram & Gazette story here.
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