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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pioneer in Suicide Prevention Dies

Edwin S. Shneidman, a pioneer in the field of suicide prevention and a prolific thinker and writer who believed that life is enriched by contemplation of death and dying, has died. He was 91.

Shneidman, one of the founders of the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center, believed that two simple questions -- "Where do you hurt?" and "How may I help you?" -- could begin to unlock the suicidal impulse.

Shneidman, along with Norman Farberow and Robert Litman, established the center in an abandoned tuberculosis hospital on the grounds of Los Angeles County Hospital in 1958. Staff members offered counseling and support over the phone to the depressed and suicidal. It represented a radical idea in mental health care in America.
...excerpted from LA Times.

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