COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The number of suicides in Ohio increased 45% from 2007 to 2018 amid a growing national public health crisis, according to a report released Wednesday by the Ohio Department of Health.
Health Department Director Dr. Amy Acton said suicide has also increased by more than 50% in young people between the ages of 10 and 24 over the same time period. It’s the leading cause of death for Ohio residents ages 10 to 14 and the second leading cause of death for residents 15 to 34, she said.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine responded to the report by saying his RecoveryOhio initiative seeks to address mental illness and issues leading to suicide.
“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,” DeWine said.
There are five suicide deaths each day in Ohio and over 1,800 such deaths last year, the report said.
Other findings in the report include:
— The number of suicides for those age 10 to 24 increased 56% while the rate increased 64% from 2007 to 2018.
— The rate for people 65 and older increased nearly 48% between 2007 and 2018.
— White, non-Hispanic males had the highest suicide rate.
— The suicide rate among black non-Hispanic males increased 54% from 2014 to 2018.
The Department of Health says some of the warning signs for people at risk of committing suicide include:
—Major mood changes with someone appearing unhappy, depressed and withdrawn from family and friends.
— Poor grades in school.
— High-risk behaviors, including the use of alcohol and other substances.
— Expressions of hopelessness.
— Self-harm, including cutting or burning.
— A personal or family history of depression.
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services offers suicide prevention information and resources at https://mha.ohio.gov/.