AAPI’s Webinar Offers Effective Ways To Prevent Suicide


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Chicago, IL

“National Suicide Prevention Week, which begins on September 5 and ends on September 11 this year, is an annual campaign observed in the United States to educate and inform the general public about suicide prevention and the warning signs of suicide,” said Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) during a webinar on “Precision Medicine for Mental Health: How to Save and Improve Lives” organized by AAPI in collaboration with MindX Sciences Inc., on Wednesday Sept. 8, 2021.  

The educational webinar attended by dozens of AAPI members from around the nation was organized in observance of the National Suicide Prevention Week, “which aims to reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and encourage the pursuit of mental health assistance because going to therapy should be as normalized as going to the gym.”

Dr. Ravi Kolli, President-Elect of AAPI moderated the session, which had eminent speakers, including Dr. Jerome Adams, former United States Surgeon General and Dr. Alexander Niculescu, co-founder of Mindx Sciences and Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Neuroscience at Indiana University School of Medicine; and Sunil Hazaray, CEO of MindX Sciences.   

In his introductory remarks, Dr. Koli drew the attention of the audience to the fact that “Almost 800,000 people die every year due to suicide, which means one death every 40 seconds, according to the WHO.” He said, “Mental health issues like depression are known to be the leading cause for attempting suicide. Suicide often occurs in a moment of unbearable pain or deep despair. Millions of Americans consider suicide, make a suicide plan, or attempt suicide every year — especially young Americans for whom suicide is the second leading cause of death.” By drawing attention to the problem of suicide in the United States, the campaign also strives to reduce the stigma surrounding the topic, as well as encourage the pursuit of mental health assistance and support people who have attempted suicide,” Dr. Kolli, a certified psychiatrist told the AAPI members.

Dr. Jerome Adams, the United States Surgeon General under President Trump, while addressing the audience on “Precision Medicine for Mental Health: The Time Has Come” drew attention of the participants to the reality that how mental health and social disparity are leading healthcare needs around the nation. “In 2019, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 34,” Dr. Adams pointed out. While commemorating World Suicide Prevention Week, “We remember the many lives that are lost and those who survived suicide attempt and we strive to create hope through action,” said Dr. Adams.

Dr. Adams referred to the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), and his call as the Surgeon General of the United State to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. “More than 20 years ago, Surgeon General David Satcher issued the landmark report The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Suicide, recognizing suicide as a major public health issue and calling for a national response. The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (National Strategy), first released in 2001 and updated in collaboration with the Action Alliance in 2012, identifies 13 goals and 60 objectives that address every aspect of suicide prevention—from fostering healthy and empowered individuals, families, and communities to providing effective prevention programs and clinical care,” Dr. Adams said.

“Suicide is preventable and it continues to remain a growing public health issue,” he said. As many as 43,000 died of suicide in 2019 in the United States. While the suicide rate decreased in 2020, overdose attempt increased by 30%. Suicide is a burden on the nation, costing $93 billion annually. Early detection is cheap. They are preventable. Precision medicine needs to be embraced by assessing the symptoms which will help in decreasing uncertainty, he said. “Never has the need been a greater need and more tools available today than ever,” Dr. Admas said.

In his address, Dr. Alexander B Niculescu III, focused on “Precision Medicine for Mental Health: From Dream to Science to Clinical Practice,” the tools available today, how we can access them and save lives. MindX Scinces offers “a complete set of tools to assess, diagnose, prevent suicide and treat mental health issues that lead to suicide,” he said. 

The Life x Mind App by MindX Sciences is meant to be a dashboard for your Life and Mind, a way to track how you feel and what you do, and see how they impact each other, he said. This will help you Know Thyself, Improve Thyself, as the ancient philosophers dreamed of, and live a happier, more hopeful, and more meaningful life. This app can also be used by doctors, psychologists, and coaches with their clients. Ten percent of the proceeds from each app will be donated to mental health support organizations.

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