TRI-CITIES, Wash. - Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and Sept. 10 is a day dedicated to prevent that.
According to the Benton County Coroner, there have been 24 suicides this year. In Franklin County there have been two. Local resources want to prevent that number from going up.
"It's something that we need to really work on -- increasing awareness and decreasing that stigma to where you do need help and something is going on," said Cameron Fordmeir with Lourdes Crisis Center. "You're having a mental health challenge or a mental health problem, that you're able to speak about that without fear of stigma or being ridiculed."
Last year, there were 32 suicides in Benton County and eight in Franklin. According to the World Health Organization, one person takes their life every 40 seconds, though the number of suicides each year is decreasing.
Fordmeir said one way to stop suicide rates from going up is to simply open up about it.
"First thing that we can do to prevent it is talk about it and to normalize the conversation," he explained. "So if somebody isn't doing well and having somebody to trust that they can come to to say that."
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline said there are multiple risk factors:
- Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders
- Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
- History of trauma or abuse
- Major physical illnesses
- Previous suicide attempt(s)
- Family history of suicide
- Job or financial loss
- Loss of relationship(s)
- Easy access to lethal means
- Local clusters of suicide
- Lack of social support and sense of isolation
- Stigma associated with asking for help
- Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
- Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
- Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)
If you or someone you know is struggling, contact Lourdes Crisis Center at (509) 783-0500. You can also call the national lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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