Norman L. Farberow founded the nation’s first comprehensive suicide prevention center and started the first 24 hour suicide prevention help. He trained police officers and other groups of people on suicide prevention and how to catch the warning signs. He died at the age of 97 on National Suicide Prevention day - a day that might not be around without his instrumental work in making suicide an academic topic.
Dr. Farberow's work upended a few false beliefs about suicide, like that most suicidal people were psychotic (most were not) and people who threatened to commit suicide would not go through with it (a majority of subjects in their studies had threatened or tried to commit suicide at least once before).
His instrumental work in studying suicidal people and trends brought clarity to the entire conversation. He had a profound impact on what we know about suicide and will be missed. We hope to build on his work and continue to better understand and be able to prevent suicide in the future.