New wallet card to help people with suicidal thoughts

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CHICAGO, June 24, 2002 - "You don't have to feel this way. There is help" is the message printed on a new, small card to help people keep suicidal thoughts in perspective and avoid taking rash actions that is being distributed by a national patient advocacy group.

The wallet-sized card has a hotline number, inspirational thoughts, sound advice, and space for recording family, friends' and physicians' phone numbers to call in a moment of doubt. It is being distributed at no charge by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (formerly National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association) (DBSA). The card's hotline number, 1-800-442-HOPE (4673) is for the National Hopeline Network's suicide prevention line.

"This card is unique because it provides an action plan for people who have or who might have suicidal thoughts," said Lydia Lewis, Executive Director of DBSA. "It allows people to carry a strong message of hope in their pocket."

Depression is the cause of more than two-thirds of the 30,000 reported suicides in the U.S. each year. The death rate from suicide remains higher than the death rate for homicide or for chronic liver disease, Alzheimer's, arteriosclerosis or hypertension.

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"The card will help people when they are facing their most difficult moments," said Lewis. "It dispels the old falsehood that if suicide is discussed with someone, that person is likelier to attempt suicide. This is simply wrong. When people are thinking about suicide they need to have accurate, sensible information and have that information reinforced. That's why this business card-sized tool will help people."

The card is available by calling DBSA at (800) 826 3632 or download the PDF by clicking on the link below.

DBSA is the nation's largest patient-directed, illness-specific organization. Incorporated in 1986 and based in Chicago, DBSA has a grassroots network of support groups across the United States and Canada. It is guided by a 65-member Scientific Advisory Board composed of the leading researchers and clinicians in the field of depressive illnesses.

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The source of this release is The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

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