More than 36,000 Americans die each year by suicide, almost twice as many than by homicide, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
Driven by the disturbing statistics, U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley and Danny Davis—who lauded the Adler School’s work in suicide prevention and awareness—hosted a congressional field forum on March 14 at the Adler School of Professional Psychology, to hear testimony from mental health experts about the significance of mental health awareness in suicide prevention.
“Suicide is a topic that is often silenced in this country, because many people are either too afraid or embarrassed to seek help,” Quigley said. “By researching the causes of suicide, expanding education and increasing suicide prevention programs, we can substantially improve the mental health of all Americans, but especially our military personnel, veterans, LGBT community and young people.”
Expert panelists at the forum included:
- Dr. Joseph Troiani, a retired U.S. navy commander and founding coordinator of the Adler School’s Psy.D. track in military clinical psychology. Troiani discussed his suicide prevention work with veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder and post-war trauma.
- Dr. Dorothy Espelage, professor of child development at the University of Illinois’ Department of Education.
- Stephen Moore, a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the father of a son who died by suicide in 2006.
- Dr. Brian Mustanski, associate professor at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine’s Department of Medical Social Sciences.
- Dr. Sidney Weissman, professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and attending psychiatrist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
The panelists presented research, ideas and concerns on how suicide can be prevented and how society may better understand the relationship between mental health and suicide.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, more than 1 million Americans attempt suicide, and 8 million consider suicide, each year. Male veterans have twice the suicide rate of civilians. The U.S. Defense Department reports that 2,293 active-duty service members have taken their own lives since January 2001. By comparison, 6,139 service members have died in Afghanistan and Iraq in the same period.
“I hope this event helps encourage a dialogue, because suicide is preventable,” Quigley said.
About the Adler School of Professional Psychology
The Adler School of Professional Psychology has provided quality education through a Scholar/Practitioner model for more than 50 years. The School’s mission is to train socially responsible graduates who continue the visionary work of Alfred Adler throughout the world. The Adler School offers 13 graduate-level programs enrolling more than 1,000 students at its campuses in Chicago and Vancouver, British Columbia, and through Adler Online.
Kim McCullough, Director of Communications
(312) 662-4124 or via email