The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says the state’s suicide rate is inching upward. The rate rose to 12.4 per 100,000 people last year, up from 11.2 from 2011. The new rate mirrors the national average. The MDH says 684 people killed themselves in the most recent period. To put that number in perspective, Minnesota had 368 traffic-related deaths in 2011. The data shows a general upward trend apart from a short-term dip around 2009.
The name says it all: TXT4Life. Minnesota lawmakers are moving to add the text message-based suicide prevention program to the existing statewide phone hotline, citing figures from a pilot program in northeastern Minnesota that show teens would rather send a text than make a call for help.