Suicide rate sees sharp increase, Indiana ranks high on the list - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Suicide rate sees sharp increase, Indiana ranks high on the list

The suicide rate has increased among middle aged Hoosiers to nearly twice the national average.

In the past three years, 140 people have committed suicide in Vanderburgh County, and 20 have happened so far this year.

But Coroner Annie Groves says the numbers aren't representative of the prevention coalition's work. She says three times the number of people are now seeking help, and without a network of mental health services, the numbers would be much higher.

"Gun shot wound to the head," Groves says is the most common meth method used to take one's life. Groves says it's a violent one.

When a lethal method is used, Becky Glines with Southwestern Healthcare says, "The sad thing is that person who has chosen to end their life probably really was ready because they did something that was really lethal."

But local statistics show a new, more alarming trend. 

"It used to be that women would overdose, carbon monoxide, and now they're starting to use the guns. 10 years ago if I would have had a female with a gunshot wound to the head, I would never have thought a suicide because they didn't do it. Nowadays, it's common," Groves says.

In the past three years, 46 people have used a gunshot wound to the head or chest to take their own life. That's 1/3 of total suicides between 2010 and 2012. 

But the number of suicides, Groves says is not representative of strides being made in the mental health side.  

"The number of people who are seeking counseling is rising," Groves says.

54 of the 140 suicides in the past three years involved individuals who were on medication. 20 of the total suicides involved an individual receiving counseling. Both numbers are on the rise. 

"The numbers of people asking for help, I heard, has tripled, so we're making progress. It takes a long time," Groves says.

"If you want help and need help, please call us here at Southwestern. We have a 24-hour suicide prevention line," Glines says.

Groves says overdoses are the number one killer in Vanderburgh County. 55 suicides in the past three years were a result of a drug overdose. 

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