Suicide Attempts Increasing in Washoe County

Loss of life is a growing consequence of our down economy. 40 people in Washoe County took their own lives last year. While the complete data is not yet available, experts say we will likely see double that number of suicide deaths in 2009.

“We've had an increase of 200 to 250 calls per month,” says Debbie Gant-Reed of the Crisis Call Center. She says job loss, and financial troubles have led more people in our area to reach out for help. However, some are overwhelmed by their situation and losing hope, even considering suicide. Gant-Reed says counselors handle about 75 more suicide related calls per month than this time last year.

Janet Massolo heads a support group for the survivors of suicide. She says the numbers of family members seeking help also indicates an alarming increase in the number of people taking their own lives. “I talk to probably 10 new survivors a month,” says Massolo. “Before, I use to speak to four or five. In November I think I talked to 15 new survivors.”

Another disturbing trend has developed across the nation. Soldiers unable to readjust to life in the states after being in a war zone are taking their lives at an alarming rate. It's estimated that across the United States 18 soldiers per day die by their own hand. “Statistically it's not just young veterans,” says Gant-Reed. “It's veterans across the board, so it could be from any war, but the increase in deaths of veterans has skyrocketed."

As of 2006, suicide was the eleventh leading cause of death in the United States, but it can be prevented. Often people considering suicide need help looking past their immediate circumstances, but don’t know where to go. By knowing the signs to watch for and the resources in our area, you may be able to help save the life of a loved one. For more information call 2-1-1 from any phone in the US. Or check out the links below.

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