Many questions but few answers, even by the most experienced mental health professionals.
In 2010, the most recent year for which figures are available, Madison County had 28 suicides. There has been nearly a steady rise in county suicides since 2002 with the curious exception of 2007 when only 12 people took their lives. The following year, the total jumped to 26.
The county’s suicide rate for 2010 was 20.73 compared to East Central Indiana’s rate of 14.2. Both the county and ECI have been on the increase since 2008, and that was the year the Great Recession began with the loss of jobs and massive foreclosures.
The economic situation might have had something to do with certain individuals ending it all, but not everyone.
People who feel they have reached their breaking point need to seek help, and there is plenty of help available in the county. It’s a matter of recognizing not only that a problem exists, but that it can’t be solved by individual effort. It will take help to change course. Only when people recognize these problems will they be able to do something about it.
This high rate of suicide rate in the county is as inexplicable as it is disturbing. Living in a society that preaches self-reliance and still shows disdain for people who cannot bring themselves under control can, in itself, lead to problems. But those with the troubles must reach out to others. Unless they want to die and many do.
For those who are silently screaming for help, though, we must make a better effort to recognize them and offer that help. It’s what we owe each other.
POLL QUESTION Do you understand someone who has committed suicide? Yes, sometimes it gets too tough No, there is always help available