New App Helps Catch Suicide Risk

Nearly half of people who die from suicide have seen a health professional of some sort in the month before their deaths and there are ways to find out who might be at risk and help them, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says.

Simple, direct questions such as "You don't have thoughts about killing yourself, do you?' are effective and don't put ideas into people's heads, SAMHSA says. And they can help a doctor or nurse direct someone at risk for immediate help.

The app, called Suicide Safe, is available at Google Play and Apple's App Store. It also gives sample profiles of people at risk of suicide.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and the second leading cause of death for teens and young adults.

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First published March 11th 2015, NBCNEWS.COM