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Depression In Idaho

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By KMVT News

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Summer may be one of the most stressful seasons of the year, according a study done by Sleep Rate.

But in the State of Idaho, stress is just the beginning for some residents who are suffering from depression.

"It's one of the more prominent disorders people experience. In fact, 85% of Americans at some point in life are going to experience a major depression episode," explains Eric Jones, Preferred Child and Family Services.

Depression is an illness that has been impacting not only the Magic Valley, but the State of Idaho over the years.

"Twin Falls has a high rate of depression for a variety of reasons. Economic challenges, in particular now this time in our country. There are health care challenges that have really become a factor recently, and access to some of the individuals in our community has diminished and insurance in general is very difficult to get. The whole mental health aspect is an issue all the counselors in the Magic Valley have to deal with," Jones says.

Donna Stalley, President of the Suicide Prevention Network, says the program in the Magic Valley is to educate people on mental health awareness.

"We’re trying to educate people. We’re trying to get people more aware of mental health, especially depression and the contribution that depression and addictions make to the rate of suicides," Stalley explains.

Stalley says suicide rates have increased for the fifth straight year.

Shockingly, males are four times more likely to commit suicide compared to females.

Compared to past years, Idaho has dropped in the ranking.

"We were number 5 and 6 for many years. We have dropped, and the newest report shows we’re 11th in the nation. That sounds good, but still when talking about 50 states and you’re at the bottom, we need to address it," Stalley says.

Counselors suggest talking to those you may be worried about, as well as being supportive.

"If you suspect somebody is thinking about harming themselves, talk to them to open, be supportive, offer them help, offer them assistance, stay with them, and if they’re juveniles, get a hold of the parents," Stalley explains.

"We have a responsibility as a community to recognize people have needs for help, and because they’re depressed we don't want to send the message that there is something wrong with them. We want them to understand they’re experiencing something that they don't know exactly how to handle and maybe we could reach out a hand and assist," Jones adds.

Although suicide rates in young adults have increased, older adults ranging from ages 45 to 85 have decreased.


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