Ohio health officials see spike in suicide rates in recent years

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTRF) – A new report shows that five people die of suicide every day.

In recent years, suicides have increased 45 percent among all Ohioans and 56 percent among those age 10 to 24.

State public health officials are calling it an epidemic and it all starts with changes in behavior.

Increasing moodiness — irritability. Maybe the person’s giving away items that would be considered to be valuable to themselves.

Dr. Shaun Roe, WVU Medicine Barnesville Hospital

Many refuse to ask others about suicidal thoughts because they believe that will only fuel the fire but experts say that is only a myth.

And the research shows that if you ask a person directly, it actually relieves the pressure that a person is feeling, and that most people really do want to talk about what they’re struggling with. And if you ask that direct question, ‘are you thinking about suicide,’ it will save somebody’s life.

Amy Gamble, mental health advocate

If they answer ‘yes’ to any questions that indicates a high risk of suicide, experts encourages friends and loved ones to get that person help.

Taking them to the emergency department to places like Barnesville Hospital where we can immediately get them the care that they need. You know, get them in to the right place, making sure they’re safe.

Dr. Shaun Roe, WVU Medicine Barnesville Hospital

Health officials suggest that everyone take the Mental Health First Aid course.

It’s sponsored by the National Council on Behavioral Health and there’s always a class near you.

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