Michigan Unveils State Suicide Prevention Plan

By: Ali Gorman, R.N.
By: Ali Gorman, R.N.

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in Michigan. In 2003, more than 1,000 people in Michigan committed suicide. The greatest number was seen in males ages 15 to 54, but the highest rate of death was seen in males 75 years and older.

Michigan's Surgeon General Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom unveiled the state's plan to prevent death from- and attempted- suicide. The plan is a collaboration of community programs, families of victims, and the Michigan Suicide Prevention Coalition.

The plan highlights the need for increased awareness and to reduce the stigma surrounding suicide. It also plans to improve access to mental health services as ninety percent of suicidescan be linked to mental health issues.

Families of victims say the most important message is to get someone help if you're suspicious of their behavior.

Some risk factors include:
-Previous suicide attempt
-History of mental disorders, particularly depression
-History of substance abuse
-Family history of suicide
-Feelings of hopelessness
-Barriers to mental health services
-Loss (of job, loved one, financial)
-Physical illness
-Isolation

For resources in your area to access mental health services, dial 2-1-1.


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