Report Shows Surge in Michigan Suicide Rates and Offers Prevention Strategies
MICHIGAN - The Michigan Suicide Prevention Commission said prioritizing lowering the suicide rate within the state is crucial in a new report.
According to data collected by the commission, someone dies by suicide in Michigan every six hours.
“In Michigan, anyone who needs help should be able to get it,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “This task force will do critical work to collect data, expand resources, and implement best practices so we can save lives.”
The commission is working on promoting safe environments, increasing and expanding access to care for Michiganders at-risk, and increasing suicide prevention training and education programs.
“Suicide is preventable, and Michigan’s current suicide rates are unacceptable,” said chief medical executive and MDHHS chief deputy director for health, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “However, through our plans and intentional actions, we can provide the help and resources necessary to save lives.”
Additionally, the commission plans to enhance suicide-specific data collects and systems with the help of MDHHS.
Data reports from 2020 are still being gathered, however thus far the data shows 1,282 deaths by suicide but as data continues to be collected MDHHS said that number is expected to grow.
“We must work together to reduce suicide rates in Michigan and make sure that everyone knows that it’s OK to not be OK and help is always here,” said Whitmer.
Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in Michigan. The report released by the commission notes that MDHHS is taking steps to address mental health issues that are expected to worsen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Together, we can make Michigan a model state for suicide prevention, and a place where everyone gets the help they need, when they need it,” said Dr. Khaldun.
The report stated that many suicide prevention practices are new and the process to evaluate the data is also evolving. With prevention practices constantly evolving, the commission reported that lowering the states suicide rates will require strong community work, long-term investment and groundbreaking government policies.
For anyone in need of help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1.800.273.8255 or 1.800.273.TALK. Press 1 for the Veterans Crisis Line. Anyone under age 21 can ask to talk to a peer at Teen Link, 1.866.833.6546.