Is ‘Suicide Prevention’ Social Networking?

and/or, with 11 deaths for each attempt that results in a death, Is there a role for ‘social networking’ in ‘suicide prevention? and, even with a mere ‘maybe’, get started?


For some years now I’ve occasionally posted items and excerpts online about ‘suicide prevention’. Some were based on my volunteer ‘hotline’ work in a community suicide prevention service during the ‘Viet Nam War’, others on my concurrent duties in an IG office hearing/reading and trying to resolve complaints from government-employed people, members of their families, and the general public. I now reflect on this long ago ‘additional duty’ as extraordinary, in retrospect, more like an aspect of today’s ‘social networking,’ I maintained a layman-level general interest and involvement in ‘sp’ since I retired. (I no longer engage in sp counseling – whatsoever.)


As I recall, shortly after the DHHS created the Suicide Prevention Research Center they (SPRC) published and posted and continue to post online their e-newsletter SPARK from which I quote verbatim the following:
‘The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) provides prevention support, training, and resources to assist organizations and individuals to develop suicide prevention programs, interventions and policies, and to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.’

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‘Suicide is a major, preventable public health problem. In 2007, it was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 34,598 deaths. The overall rate was 11.3 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. An estimated 11 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death.’

‘Welcome to, the home of over 490 web pages and 250 library resources on suicide prevention information. This site is also a portal to other valuable resources about suicide prevention, receiving an average of 26,229 visits per month. Visitors can find a range of information from suicide prevention and mental health news to strategic tools for developing suicide prevention programs. The site includes individual state suicide prevention pages, news and events, an online library, training, and links to other web sites. We invite you to explore the site and to give us feedback on it by emailing [email protected].’


Suicide statistics responsive to mental health trends in the U S Armed Forces, among youth and young adults, and the effects generated by our nation’s economy are not encouraging. Is there a positive role here for ‘social networking?’

Meyer Moldeven

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