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Research on Depression in the Workplace.

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Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's

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Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted.  We depend on written communication for information, guidance, and access to heath care information That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way information is delivered to low literacy communities. It's exactly what it sounds like.a book that talks to the reader in his or her local  language, delivering critical information in an interactive, and educational way.

The customizable 16-page book, accompanied by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood..

We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 30 titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 30 countries.

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To the Editor:
Re “Midlife Suicide Rises, Puzzling Researchers” (front page, Feb. 19):
As we try to understand the increase of suicide in this age group, one of the most descriptive phrases in the article is “inexplicable gloom.”
As a rabbi in one congregation for 25 years and as a professor of a course on death for the last 30 years, I have observed this gloom (or sadness, ennui, feeling of emptiness) in this age group.
It is not so much the means as it is the psychosocial and spiritual condition of boomers — what Émile Durkheim described in his 1897 pioneering book on suicide as anomie, referring to a lack of regulation or a breakdown of norms.
To quote one statement from his writings, “Man is the more vulnerable to self-destruction the more he is detached from any collectivity.”
Anomie as a cause of suicide is rare when human beings share their lives in intimate connection with others, when there is a sense of mutual interdependence in the human community.
The breakdown of personal relationships has been a major cause of depression and anomie among boomers. With the impermanence of friendships, unremitting mobility, job insecurities and the breakdown of the family structure, it should not be surprising that the suicide rate in this age group has increased.
Jack D. Spiro
Richmond, Va., Feb. 19, 2008

To the Editor:
One might get the impression from your article that stresses on people ages 45 to 64 have mysteriously and precipitously increased in ways that we cannot understand. It is possible, however, that many of the suicides are people, like a woman featured in the article, who have struggled with suicidal depression for much or most of their lives and are living longer than they would have with the aid of improved, but not curative, treatments.
Statistical data can raise questions and suggest where to look. This woman’s story, as related by her sister, suggests that only knowledge of the life histories of these individuals can give us the answers.
Herbert Hendin
New York, Feb. 19, 2008
The writer is chief executive and medical director of Suicide Prevention International.

To the Editor:
Your article was troubling. I know that this is a complex subject, but apart from chronic depression or medical problems, perhaps one explanation is the sense of defeat that many people feel.
We read about many people earning unimaginable incomes and living a lifestyle that seems like an unobtainable fantasy. The middle-class American dream has been so diluted that many people may feel so discouraged they just give up.
The baby boomers that comprise the substantial rise in suicides may decide to take their own lives because of their disillusionment with a reality that falls far short of the 1950s’ optimism and 60s’ hedonism they knew. Heightened expectations can lead to greater falls and despair. I hope the researchers figure it out.
Steven A. Ludsin
East Hampton, N.Y., Feb. 19, 2008

To the Editor:
With respect to the increase in midlife suicide rates, I would say this: baby boomers deal with their parents’ illnesses and deaths, and at the same time all the problems associated with their children’s adolescence.
In previous generations, by the time Americans hit middle age their parents were gone and their children were grown. Advances in health care have increased longevity for our parents. And as for our children, we chose to have them later than previous generations. What I am saying is that the current population of individuals in midlife are under much greater pressures.
D. T. Arcieri
Blue Point, N.Y., Feb. 19, 2008

To the Editor:
The primary cause of all suicides has to be individual and personal in each case. But in this statistical context, I think an underlying negative factor, common to all, is being virtually ignored.
These suicides are occurring among an increasingly aging baby boom generation. That generation enjoyed an enviable prosperity and success almost from the beginning.
Given the numerous international, ecological and environmental problems facing us today, however, it would not be surprising if some baby boomers were persuaded that their future could be nowhere near as bright as their past.
A. M. Mikesell
Westport, Conn., Feb. 19, 2008

To the Editor:
Today, prescription drugs that are lethal in large doses can be found in the medicine cabinets of a very significant percentage of homes — a much, much larger percentage than in the past. For the susceptible, these drugs are an all too easily available method of killing oneself. It’s really no wonder that the suicide rate is increasing.
Dave de Andrade
Milan, Feb. 19, 2008

To the Editor:
How many people go through life without ever once contemplating suicide? For those who seek treatment yet never find respite from unremitting gloom, suicide may be their only resort. But the sheer dailiness of life can sometimes lead even the stalwart to question whether things can ever be better.
A leading authority on life, my mother, once said: “Life will drag you down and pull you out if you let it.” As a practice, I abide by the maxim in my midlife: “Continue to live your life in phases, each with its own opportunities for fulfillment.”
Ted Gallagher
New York, Feb. 19, 2008


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