Sep 1, 2008    #086
Contact: John Austin

UMKC School of Medicine co-sponsoring upcoming panel discussion on suicide ‘epidemic’ U.S. Acting Surgeon General Galson among scheduled speakers

Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., acting U.S. Surgeon General will be on hand for a special panel discussion and workshop on suicide prevention and awareness, Thursday, Sept. 4, beginning at 11:15 a.m. in the Kaufmann Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road in Kansas City, Mo. The event, co-sponsored by the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine, is intended to educate media and community leaders about the important roles they can play in preventing suicides through enlightened coverage of such events and galvanizing community action to prevent future suicides.

Betty M. Drees, M.D., dean of the UMKC School of Medicine will introduce Rear Admiral Galson, who will open the program with a discussion of this nation’s “suicide epidemic.” The most recent figures from the National Center for Health Statistics show that, in 2005, more than 32, 000 people died by suicide in the United States. Kansas was ranked 18th and Missouri was ranked 22nd in highest rates of death by suicide among the 50 states.

Dr. Daniel Reidenberg, executive director of SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), will follow RADM Galson with a presentation on the media and suicide, including goals and strategies for improving suicide prevention education. They will then be joined by representatives from the Missouri Department of Mental Health and the Kansas Suicide Prevention Committee for further discussion and a question-and-answer session.

The event will conclude with an interactive workshop, conducted by Dr. Reidenberg, in which he will offer tips and guidelines for dealing with the media regarding issues or instances of suicide.

Kansas and Missouri community leaders, university and school administrators, public officials, and the media — those responsible for communicating information to the media and/or public about crisis situations involving suicide — are invited and encouraged to attend. The event is free, but reservations are required as seating is limited. To reserve your seat, e-mail, or for more information, visit and select “Events” from the main menu.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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