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By Debra Johnston MD
Prairie Doc 

Ask then act


September 22, 2022

One summer during my college years, I had a roommate who suffered from suicidal thoughts. She’d attempted suicide before we met, and been hospitalized, but continued to struggle. Back in the late 80s, there was very little public understanding of mental health issues and the stigma was even stronger than it is today. Our other roommate and I didn’t know what to do or where to turn.

Not surprisingly, we didn’t handle it well.

However, we did one thing right: we restricted access to lethal means. We secured the knives and took control of her medications. Back before Prozac, the best tre...

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