CDC Report: Suicide rates rise across nation, Idaho in top 10

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(KMVT/KSVT) - According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, suicide rates have increased in the nation. Idaho is placed in the top 10.

The reports says nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 and older died by suicide.

From 1999 to 2016, Idaho's percentage of death by suicide increased more than 40 percent.

Donna Stalley, the president of the Suicide Prevention Action Network for the Magic Valley, said Idaho ranked fifth for highest number of suicides.

"What we don't realize is that we're seeing a lot of kids attempting suicide," she said, adding that the there are many elderly people taking their own lives as well. "Suicide is not a fun subject to talk to or talk about. People don't want to be involved in that. It's depressing, but it's a reality."

Robin Ridinger-Curtis struggles with depression and Stalley is her mentor. She said for the first time in 13 years, she has a will to live.

"Just knowing that it does get better. I never imagined that life could be good," Ridinger-Curtis said.

She said she's on medication for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and that she has a good support group.

"Just having someone to believe in me and listen to me has really helped a lot," she said.

Ridinger-Curtis said she attempted to take her life in 2005 and ended up in the hospital for 16 days. She wants those who feel suicidal to know that there are people out there who care.

"It hurts my heart to know that people feel so hopeless," she said. "That they have no other choice. You're really not a burden to people that you feel that you are and there really is people that want to help."

Stalley said she wants to bring suicide to the forefront so people understand how much grief and loss people feel after getting left behind.

"There's an alternative, that we can help," she said.

Stalley also said that suicide and addiction go hand in hand.

"Often times we aren't sure if it was the mental health that caused the addiction or the addiction that caused the mental health," she continued. "Did you start using or drinking to feel less depressed or confused, that made you feel more normal? I hear that all the time as a counselor."

She said if you know somebody that's alone, to reach out to them.

"Talk to them, bring them a plate of cookies, ask them to come over for a cup of coffee. They're lonely," she said.

If you are concerned about someone else or need to talk to someone yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.



 
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