Suicides spike in Mesa County
Rate has risen every year since 2008; 47 deaths in 2012 set a record
Mesa County was plagued with an abnormally high rate of suicide last year, according to a year-end report by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office.
A record number of 47 suicide deaths in Mesa County last year is more than double the number of people who died in fatal motor vehicle crashes, 23, last year.
The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has been keeping statistics on suicides since 2008. The fewest number of suicides in a year was 30 in 2009, followed by 32 in 2010. There were 37 deaths in 2008. The number of deaths increased to 44 in 2011, and last year’s 47 suicide deaths was the most on record.
Mesa County’s number of suicides is three times the national average, according to the report.
September typically is suicide prevention awareness month, but Mesa County’s statistics show a need for awareness all year long. Suicides tend to occur more often during the summer months, but the numbers of suicides per month don’t appear to follow a trend, the report showed.
The 2012 suicide report contains more than statistics. It also debunks a number of myths related to suicide and illustrates a rebirth of local prevention efforts. The report also contains a comprehensive list of resources for those who might be considering suicide and for those whose loved ones may be depressed or contemplating suicide.
“Prevention may be a matter of a caring person being available in the right place at the right time with the right knowledge,” the report said.
According to interviews from families, 30 percent of people indicated a relationship was a factor in the death. Families of many of the suicide victims expressed they were depressed leading up to the suicide, and 73 percent of suicide victims received some sort of mental health treatment.
To see the entire report, visit the Coroner’s Office web page at Mesa County’s website, http://www.mesacounty.us.