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By Kay Redfield Jamison. (Pp 432; $26.00.) Alfred A Knopf, NY, 1999. ISBN 037540145.
In the early 1980s, the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a Request for Proposals for new public health injury prevention projects of potential national significance. I responded from the New York State Department of Health with a proposal to prevent adolescent suicides. Our application, based on consultation with state and national injury control associates, was judged acceptable but not funded. Subsequently, at a meeting with some of the Washington DHHS staff a senior official stated that suicides were not a public health issue! Little more was done for another five years until Governor Cuomo organized hearings on adolescent suicides. Some new reports were written but little else transpired. Even my PhD dissertation on the role of serotonin screening for violence, fell by the wayside (see Injury Prevention, March 1999: 13).