Lane County Public Health has released its first-ever comprehensive suicide report and the findings raise concerns. 1,079 county residents killed themselves between 2000 and 2016.
One in four deaths by suicide was a veteran. And over 60-percent of men who died by suicide never sought mental health treatment before taking their life.
In addition to details on deaths, the report provides recommendations for life-saving. Roger Brubaker is Lane County’s Suicide Prevention Coordinator. He says reducing the stigma around suicide can start with talking about it.
“It could take the form of, ‘Sometimes when I see people as depressed as you or behaving the way you are, I get concerned for them. Sometimes they may even be thinking about taking their own life. Are you thinking about suicide?’”
Brubaker says that kind of non-judgmental, direct language can help someone in crisis feel safe. Lane County Public Health Department offers trainings on how to identify suicide risk and connect with resources.