• 39°

So no one is alone

recent study from the Ohio State University found that the suicide rate in the nation is on the rise.

For the study, researchers evaluated county–by–county statistics across the U.S. for the period from 1999 to 2016 and found that rates climbed 41 percent nationally, from 15 per 1000,000 county residents at the beginning of the period to 21.2 per 100,000 in the final three years evaluated.

In the state of Ohio, it was found that rates were highest in the southeast portion of the state, in the rural and Appalachian counties.

In the national results, both the Appalachia and Rockies region of the nation were highest, with researchers attributing this to lack of economic opportunity, poor health insurance coverage and isolation.

While Lawrence County’s most recent figures were below the national average, it is still a fact that many of the factors researchers identified exist here, which is a cause for concern.

There are several groups in the county region that are working toward suicide prevention. The Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board of Adams, Lawrence and Scioto Counties maintains hotlines for those in a crisis or contemplating suicide. The phone number is 740–354–1010 and a text hotline is also available by sending “4hope” to 741741.

And, here in Ironton, Impact Prevention has organized several events aimed at fostering a sense of community and reducing a sense of isolation. This campaign kicked off with a suicide awareness walk earlier this year.

We commend all those working on this issue and we urge anyone who is in need to not hesitate to reach out for help.