Locally high suicide rates into holiday season - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Locally high suicide rates into holiday season

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This is startling, suicide rates have increased nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide takes nearly 40,000 lives annually.

Suicide is now the tenth leading cause of death, and we're seeing this trend reflect locally.

In Graves County, they're seeing suicide rates increase almost three-fold. Last year, the Graves County Sheriff's Department responded to 5 suicides. This year, they've responded to 13, nine in the past three months.

This doesn't even include the number of attempted suicides, almost 20. These are alarming statistics, those in Graves County hope don't continue.

Sheriff Redmon says its always a traumatic scene, and an emotionally taxing call when law enforcement responds to a suicide, "It's not something you just go home and forget about."

The kind of call that particularly affects Graves County Sheriff, Dwayne Redmon, "I lived through suicide, I have a mother that killed herself several years ago and I guess in a way that helps me relate."

Redmon empathizes with the unanswered questions families inevitably have, "You're always going to have those questions in your mind, maybe I could have prevented it."

This is a time Doctor Laurie Ballew says we should be especially attuned to our loved ones. During the holiday season there's an increase in thoughts of depression, "That feeling of it's hopeless that there's going to be no improvement in one's life or situation."

Ballew recommends talking with them, "There's no specific predictor of suicide around the holiday times, but it is a time we need to be on the lookout for increasing depression."

Because there's no magical solution to this trend, but one Redmond hopes stops soon, "Suicide leave a lot of unanswered questions especially for family members."

The sheriff tells Local 6 if you do believe someone may be at risk of hurting themselves, you can call law enforcement. They have the power to detain them under a Mental Health Petition and take them to a local hospital for evaluation, medication, counseling, or otherwise if they're believed to be a harm to themselves or others.

Another recommendation, family interventions. Not to 'attack' your family members, but voicing your concerns about their mood and disposition and how much you want to help.

If you think you may be experiencing thoughts of suicide or depression, you can call a variety of crisis hotlines:

Local: 1-800-592-3980

National: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

You can also get help online by clicking here.

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