Observing World Suicide Prevention Day, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) organized a live webinar on “Treating Depression in Children and Adolescents in Primary Care” on Sept 10, 2022. Attended by a record number of physicians from around the nation, the webinar was led by Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI and a Certified Psychiatrist from Pittsburgh, PA.
Dr. Kolli set the context for the Webinar, by drawing the attention of the AAPI members to the prevalence of suicidality among people of all walks across the United States. “Nationally in 2020, there was approximately one death by suicide every 11 minutes. In the same year, for people aged 10–14 and 25–34 years, suicide was the second leading cause of death. From April 2020 to 2021 over 100,000 people died of drug overdose alone,” Dr. Kolli said. “Over 44,000 people die by suicide annually. As many as 123 people die by suicide every day. Over 1.3 million people attempt suicide each year, and, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for all age groups,” Dr. Kolli pointed out.
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.
“With the objective of strengthening and expanding the Lifeline infrastructure to respond to crisis calls, texts, and chats anytime and establishing a system that provides more opportunities for crisis service, the Federal Government has initiated the soft launch of Emergency Suicide Prevention Number, 988, transitioning from 1-800-273-TALK to 988,” Dr. Kolli pointed out. Dr. Kolli educated the participants on ways to respond to crisis situation and talked about the impact from “Reaction vs. Response.”
Dr. Aparna Vuppala, Medical Director, SPEAK-HHFa and a Psychiatrist from Huntsville, AL educated the audience on: the prevalence of suicide in children; criteria for depressive disorders in children; etiology and stressors worsening depression; screening differential diagnosis and comorbidity; suicide prevention measures; non-pharmacologic treatment and pharmacologic treatment available today.