Ohio suicide rates continue to rise
In Ohio, the suicide rate has increased by nearly 45 percent from 2007 to 2018.
The Ohio Department of Health reports that five people die by suicide every day, and one youth dies by suicide every 33 hours.
"Suicide in Ohio and nationally is a growing public health epidemic, particularly among young people," said ODH Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH. "Suicide is the leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 10-14 and the second leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 15-34."
In 2018 alone, there were 1,836 suicides in Ohio, with the highest rates among adult men aged 45 to 64 years old.
"One of the goals of my RecoveryOhio initiative is to address mental illness and other issues that contribute to suicide," said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. "If you know someone is struggling, you may be able to help save someone's life by recognizing the warning signs and steps to take."
ODH lists the following as some of the warning signs of suicide:
- A major change in mood or behavior, appearing consistently unhappy/depressed, irritable, withdrawn from family or friends
- Poor grades in school or other bad performance in extra-curricular activities
- High-risk behaviors, including use of alcohol or other substances
- Problems with concentration, and changes in energy level, appetite or sleep schedule
- Expressing feelings of hopeless or not wanting to live anymore
- Hurting themselves (e.g., wrist-cutting, burning self)
- History of depression or family history of depression
If someone you know is showing signs of suicide, ODH recommends:
- Ask directly about thoughts of suicide (asking about suicide does not increase the risk of suicide but does open up a conversation)
- Listen to what they need
- Keep them safe by keeping lethal means away from them
- Call 911 if necessary
- Help them connect with ongoing support, such as a local crisis line, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or the Crisis Text Line (text "4hope" to 741 741)
- Check back the next day to see how they are doing
- Encourage them to seek out a counselor for more help