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    December 20, 2012

    Stigma associated with mental health conditions, including the misconception that people with mental illness may be violent, stops our society from properly funding and providing the positive effective services and supports that help people recover. It stops our families and friends from accessing help or even talking about their struggles. The worst result of all this, of pain combined with fear of disclosure leading to isolation and hopelessness, is death. Death by suicide is now the single leading cause of preventable death in our country, killing over a hundred people every day, five thousand Americans a year.
    I am one of many people who has survived a suicide attempt. Like many of you I’ve lost people I was close to as well. And like many of those who die, shame and stigma drove me to consider that death was more dignified than getting help. (MHASF Executive Director, Eduardo Vega, MA)

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