The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

June 16, 2013

'We cannot ignore this'

Health officials on suicide and why Madison County's rate is so high

ANDERSON, Ind. — Emily Marshall was sinking.

Hours weren’t steady at work. Her post-traumatic stress, bipolar and other mental health disorders were difficult for others to understand. And, coupled with her medical problems, they added up to huge bills.

“I felt like nobody cared; like there was no hope,” said Marshall, of Muncie. “I wanted it all to go away.”

She thought about numbing the pain with pills — too many — then slipping into a deep sleep and never waking up. How easy it would be. How liberating. How simple.

But when she spoke with her husband, James, he pulled her back. “When she said she was thinking about it, I said, ‘We’re going to the hospital,’” he said. Emily was put on a 72-hour suicide hold.

Hers isn’t an uncommon story. In 2010, the most recent year for which statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are available, nearly one million Americans attempted suicide — one every 32 seconds.

And they’re the lucky ones. Of those attempts, 38,364 were successful. That’s 105 people per day, and at least one by the time you’ve finished reading this story.

The statistics weigh heavier in Madison County, where 28 people committed suicide in 2010. The county’s rate was nearly double the national average — roughly 21 per capita.

“We cannot ignore this and go around with blindfolds on,” said Anthony Malone, president of the Madison County Community Health Center. “Many people, when they look at these numbers, just shake their heads because they don’t understand. The question is: Can we afford that?”

There’s no saying for sure why Madison County’s numbers are so high, but one factor could be an above-average unemployment rate. It soared as high as 12.7 percent in 2010, the same year the county’s suicide rate spiked.

“In this area, there’s a huge loss of income (and) people out of work,” said the Marshalls’ doctor, Sharon McNeany, an adjunct professor at Ball State University and director of behavioral health and psychological services at MCCHC. “That puts financial stress on the family, if their basic needs aren’t being met — clothes, home, food.”

Text Only
Local News
  • news_indfloods.jpg County escapes major storm damage

    Despite strong winds and heavy storms Thursday night, Madison County property escaped relatively unscathed. While downed tree limbs and power lines led to a power outage for about 2,000 residences in Anderson, there were no reports of structure damage in the county.

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS -  HB0823 - Fire-Rozelle Johnson - JC 28a.jpg Lightning might have caused Anderson funeral home fire

    A lightning strike is suspected of starting a fire at Rozelle-Johnson Funeral Services, Ind. 32 and Rangeline Road, early Friday morning.

    August 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Teen arrested in alleged robbery, battery of teen girl A teen faces felony charges after allegedly luring and driving another girl out to a county road, robbing the girl at knifepoint and leaving the girl out on the road at night.

    August 22, 2014

  • ACS incumbents facing election challenge Most incumbents seeking re-election to various school boards in Madison County will be facing challengers in the November 4 general election.

    August 22, 2014

  • Reservoir could be 'needed shot in the arm'

    The proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir is being described as the needed shot in the arm that would put Anderson back on the map.

    August 23, 2014

  • SWAT Challenge to move to Camp Atterbury The 13th Annual Indiana SWAT Challenge will again be hosted by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, but this year will move to a larger venue.

    August 22, 2014

  • VanNess, William mug Local Briefs: Aug. 23 A compilation of news items of local and statewide interest as published in the Saturday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Coats: Obamacare won't be repealed U.S. Sen. Dan Coats said the Affordable Care Act will not be repealed and that Congress needs to focus on many modifications to the law affecting health care in America.

    August 22, 2014

  • Anderson cop Richardson loses rank Seven months after Anderson Police officer Bill Richardson was arrested in January but not criminally charged, the department has disciplined the officer.

    August 22, 2014

  • Local Briefs: Aug. 22

    A compilation of news items of local and state interest as published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 22, 2014

August Staff Photos


Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook