MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health says an increase in the state’s adult suicide rate is highlighting a need to connect Minnesotans to hope and help.
According to the MDH, there were 726 suicide deaths reported in Minnesota, an increase of 6 percent from 2014’s 686 reported suicide deaths.
“Today’s news clarifies that we must do more to support and connect with those who are suffering and contemplating suicide,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger. “We know suicides are preventable. We have seen progress in preventing youth suicide. We must focus on helping adult men and others find hope and help.” Factors such as meaningful relationships, coping skills and safe and supportive communities can decrease the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
MDH says suicide among men drove the state’s suicide rate increase in 2015 (20.5 per 100,000), while the rate among women stayed stable at 5.9 suicides per 100,000.
“This alarming rise in the number of suicides in Minnesota reinforces for us the need for a continuum of mental health care in our communities – so that people can get help when they need it,” said Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper. ”Let us never forget that this is not about statistics; each and every one of these 726 deaths is someone’s friend, relative and neighbor. We need to work together by focusing on prevention.”
Meanwhile, the number of suicides went down for Minnesotans under 25 years old – where most prevention efforts have been focused.
“More training of healthcare professionals and community members along with follow-up care is important in preventing suicides,” said Dr. Dan Reidenberg, Executive Director of SAVE.
Firearms continue to be the leading method of suicide.
Anyone who is concerned about a friend or loved one is asked to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), not leave the person along, remove anything that could be used in a suicide attempt and, if able, take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.