Ohio develops plan to deal with suicide deaths

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(The Center Square) – Ohio hopes a new collaboration and new plan can help reduce the number of suicides in the state over the next two years.

The RecoveryOhio initiative is partnering with the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation to develop a roadmap with the help of 30 private and public organizations throughout the state. In Ohio, according to the plan, five people die from suicide each day.

“The heartbreak of losing a family member to suicide is a pain that cuts deep, leaving behind a void that words can’t fully capture,“ Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said. “This plan will bring about a system-wide commitment to reduce suicides and encourage communities to work collectively to foster understanding and destigmatize mental health challenges.”

The plan, according to DeWine, includes raising public awareness, enhancing access to timely data, growing opportunities for health care access and providing support for families coping with the loss of a loved one to suicide.

It also points out the importance of combining efforts with behavioral health care providers, employers, health care systems, schools and community organizations to slow the rate of suicides.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there were 1,766 suicides in Ohio in 2021, an increase of 8% from 2020. That number, however, is below the 10-year high in the state of 1,836 suicide deaths in 2018.

In November, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that said the United States set a record for the number of suicide deaths, with nearly 50,000 people dying by suicide in 2022.

The national report indicated that middle-aged adults account for the most suicides, while suicide numbers in pre-teens and teens have decreased.

“We are grateful for Gov. DeWine’s leadership and focus on improving the lives of individuals who are struggling with mental health and suicide,” said Tony Coder, executive director of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation. “We believe that suicide prevention is a health issue that anyone can be an active participant in, and we are grateful that this plan is a strategy that can help more individuals seek care.”

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