LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) –The leading cause of violent deaths in Arkansas. . .suicide.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, 621 people died by suicide in Arkansas last year.
Representatives with ADH and the Attorney General’s office came together Monday morning at the State Capitol in an effort to reduce the number of suicide related deaths.
ADH Director Dr. Nathaniel Smith spoke about the impact of suicide on the public, including steps being made to combat the situation.
These steps include training community leaders and educators on how to prevent suicides and running campaigns like “Let’s Talk About It,” which promotes the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
On average, over 1,000 Arkansans call the lifeline each month.
“Where there’s help, there’s hope,” Dr. Smith said. “The Arkansas Department of Health is committed to providing help to Arkansans in the midst of crisis when they need it the most through training community leaders, education and the Arkansas Lifeline Call Center.”
67 youth between the ages of 10 to 24 died by suicide in 2016.
An important for the suicide prevention program is improving continuity of care and follow up for youth identified at risk.
The suicide prevention program is implementing integrated networks of care for community populations to ensure that follow up care and evidence based treatments are effectively in place.
“On average fifty Arkansans per month lose their battles with mental illness or depression and too often family and friends are not aware of or do not understand the sense of hopelessness of their loved one,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said. “Arkansas is one big small town and we must work together to give hope to those in need and bring awareness across the state in order to save the lives of our neighbors and friends.”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1(800) 273-TALK or (800) 273-8255.
To learn more about the training and resources available in your group, business or school, click here.