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Letter

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, but it can be prevented!

In my career as a social worker in Missoula County, I found it frustrating, bordering on impossible, to find reasonably quick and meaningful interventions to help persons struggling to stay alive. The problem far outweighs the resources available.

During National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 8-14, I will be urging my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health and to "Be the Voice" for the millions of Americans affected by suicide each year.

To prevent suicide, we need to:

1. Invest in suicide prevention research within the National Institute of Mental Health at a level equal to the suicide problem in our country,

2. Strengthen oversight for mental health parity at the state and federal levels,

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3. Fully fund the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255 [TALK]) and local crisis call centers, and

4. Make service member and veteran suicide prevention a national priority.

Please join me by calling your members of Congress and your state and local officials to ask them to make suicide prevention the priority it deserves to be. Together, we can save lives.

Sue Gravatt,

Missoula

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