Active duty and veteran suicides up, youth suicides down in El Paso County

COLORADO SPRINGS — September is nationwide suicide prevention consciousness month, and part of the coroner’s report launched right this moment was addressing suicide deaths in El Paso County.

Dr. Leon Kelly, the El Paso County coroner, stated suicide numbers in our group are a few of the highest within the nation.

The variety of suicide deaths have been regular over the previous few years, however tendencies have modified for lively responsibility army, veterans and youth. Total, the information is blended, however suicide stays a significant drawback in our group.

176 folks took their lives in El Paso County final yr, and there have been 178 suicides the yr prior, so there’s been a small enhance.

“Our suicide numbers are definitely the best in Colorado, and Colorado ranks poorly for suicide charges in comparison with the remainder of the nation, so it isn’t a spot that we wish to be,” stated Dr. Kelly.

Dr. Kelly stated 30% of people that died by suicide final yr have recognized lively or prior army expertise, which is a ten% enhance from 2020.

“It is unacceptable that our veterans and their households haven’t got the help that they should climate these troublesome instances, notably transitions house or as they become older in life,” stated Dr. Kelly.

He additionally talked about the numbers might signify a real enhance in veterans taking their lives, or a greater job of his workplace figuring out lively responsibility and veterans. Regardless, the numbers are alarming and have to be addressed, he stated.

“It would not actually matter as a result of 30% of suicides is an excessive amount of in our veteran group,” stated Dr. Kelly.

Youth suicides have decreased from 15 in 2020, to 4 in 2021, and yr so far in 2022, there have been two youth suicides.

“That is been one thing that is been a problem on this group for a while, and so if we keep on tempo with the place we’re, we’ll have top-of-the-line years within the historical past of El Paso county, definitely in my time right here, in the place we’re with teen suicides,” stated Dr. Kely.

Dr. Kelly stated it is a direct reflection of the efforts taken by the group, dad and mom, children, faculties, public well being in addressing the problem.

Cassandra Walton is the manager director with Pikes Peak suicide prevention and she or he stated a part of the trouble is figuring out totally different suicide prevention methods for various populations.

“Like implementing gatekeeper trainings, utilizing acceptable language when speaking about suicide, and having our group interact in protected storage,” stated Walton.

For lively responsibility army and veterans, she says they should do a greater job of outreach.

“With that inhabitants, what we’ve got a very good understanding of, is that there’s a want for a lower of stigma relating to accessing well being, and speaking about this out loud in order that we will get early intervention into place to scale back these deaths.”

The race towards suicide can also be occurring this Sunday, September 18th. It is one of many largest native demonstrations of suicide prevention and consciousness. Greater than 500 folks locally will honor those that are surviving losses of suicide, and work to extend consciousness about suicide.

The common age of dying by suicide is 44 years outdated. 3/4 of the time, medicine and alcohol had been current on the time of dying.
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