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Last chances
  1. Brian Johnston
  1. Dr B D Johnston, editor; ipeditor{at}bmjgroup.com

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This year, I spent a long Easter weekend in California. Flying in from rainy Seattle, I was pleased to see the brilliant blue of the Pacific Ocean lazing under a cloudless sky. The hills, typically a sere and muted gold, were brilliantly green after a late season rain and the landscape was ablaze with wildflowers. It should have been a happier arrival, but I was heading back to my childhood home for a funeral. A friend I had known for over 30 years was dead by suicide, leaving her husband, children and a huge circle of friends to grapple with unanswerable questions.

Given the ubiquity of the phenomena we study, I suspect that most of our readers will know the pain of injury or violence in some personal as well as professional capacity. Globally, violence kills at least 1.6 million people each year, with as many as 870 000 of these deaths attributed to suicide.1 It is …

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