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Suicide Prevention Director Says Hope And Help Available

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Suicide Prevention Director Says Hope And Help Available

A CDC report shows suicide as the second leading cause of death for Americans ages 10 to 24.

The report indicates a 62 percent increase in suicides among that age group between 2007 and 2021. But Upper Cumberland Director of the Upper Cumberland Suicide Prevention Network Michael Anderson said  more important than these numbers is the fact that we as a culture seem reluctant to help.

“You know it’s interesting if someone seems to be showing signs of a heart attack, most good caring people, which I believe most people are, wouldn’t be afraid to jump up get involved and say hey are you okay can I help and call 911,” Anderson said. “But when it comes to mental health, there seems to be a reluctance.”

Anderson said he thinks people are afraid they will do the wrong thing. He said that is a stigma that we need to erase.

Anderson said nobody dies by suicide for just one reason. He said the number one factor is untreated clinical depression and that is treatable.

“It’s important to make people aware that there is hope, there is treatment, and it’s effective treatment,” Anderson said. “And you’re never alone. We have great resources like 988 that you can talk and text.”

Anderson said in the age ranges of 14-16, we do see the onset of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. He said additionally there is often the beginning of drug use in that age range.

“Unfortunately a lot of time people are not educated with what is going on with a young person,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the overall trend in suicide across all age ranges has been an increase for the past 40 years. He said some say we are simply better at identifying suicide than we were 40 years ago.

“Don’t be afraid to get involved,” Anderson said. “And reach out to resources like 988 or one of our qualified mental health professionals here in the region.”


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