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“Outta’ My Mind on a Monday Moanin’"

1-800-273-8255 is the number for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

You might recall I ended last week's column with the above number.

And you probably have noticed you’ve now seen this number virtually everywhere there is a printed or broadcast story about the high-profile suicides over the last few weeks.

When a celebrity steps forward with word of some unfortunate illness he or she is fighting, good things usually follow. More “regular” people go to the doctor to face some of their own health issues, or to get that checkup they have put off.

That’s a good thing.

Unfortunately, we have found suicide by a celebrity can actually lead to more suicides by other celebrities and “regular” people, sadly emboldened to do the unthinkable.

I am quite certain if those driven to end their lives to supposedly end their troubles could see the aftermath of such a sad and senseless decision, if they could truly see the devastation of friends and family members forever changed by their action, maybe they wouldn’t do it.

On the other hand, the darkness they find themselves shrouded in prevents them from thinking clearly about what they are about to do.

Many people are not aware there were lyrics to the theme song from the beloved old comedy about the Korean War known as M*A*S*H. We just heard the instrumental version on television for all of these years. The actual lyrics to the chorus were, “Suicide is painless, it brings on many changes, And I can take or leave it if I please …”

With the increase in suicides the last several years, we certainly know suicide is not painless, and the many changes it brings are all bad.

Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.

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