(WHBC) – The Stark County Health Department along with the Ohio Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and other public health partners have released a final report on the increase in youth suicide in Stark County.
An investigation was conducted over the last 12 months due to the rapid increase in Stark County youth suicides between August 2017 and March 2018.
During that timeframe Stark County experienced 12 suicides among middle and high school students.
The suicide rate among 10 to 19-year-olds years rose to more than 7 times the national rate and 11 times the Stark County rate for the previous years.
The report says, among Stark County youth who participated in the Northeast Ohio Youth Health Survey in Spring 2018, 5.6 percent say they had attempted suicide in the 2017-18 school year and 10.7 percent had thought about it.
Officials say their investigation accomplished four main objectives.
1- Determined the students in need of prevention services at all affected and at risk middle and high schools through a comprehensive school based risk screen.
2- Identified factors for youth suicide that may contribute to ongoing suicidal behavioral to prevent further suicide attempts and suicides.
3- Determined the activities, social supports, and other factors among youth that are most protective against suicide risk to help guide prevention activities.
4- Inventoried and catalogued existing suicide prevention initiatives to make recommendations on evidence‐based suicide prevention programs.
Based on the findings in the report, the following recommendations to address suicide risk and to support prevention activities were presented to the Stark County Health Department and Ohio Department of Health.
– Advance an Integrated Approach to Suicide Prevention at the Community Level
– Strengthen Access and Delivery of Suicide Care
– Create Protective Environments
– Promote Connectedness
– Teach Coping and Problem-Solving Skills
– Identify and Support People at Risk
– Lessen Harms and Prevent Future Risk
– Administer Ongoing Youth Health and Behavior Surveys
– Target both Female and Male Students
The report points out that suicide is a serious and growing public health problem.
Between 1999 and 2016, suicide rates among people 10-years-old and younger increased by 36 percent in Ohio and 25.4 percent across the United States.
The following resources are available for those in crisis.
Crisis Hotline: 330 452 6000
Domestic Violence help line: 330 453 SAFE (7233)
Homeless Hotline: 330 452 4363
Crisis Text Line, Text 4hope to 741 741
Trevor Project Lifeline for LGBTQ youth: 866 488 7386
Trans Lifeline: 877 565 8860
Military & Veterans Crisis Line: 1 800 273 8255, press 1
Military & Veterans Crisis Text Line: 838255
Opiate Hotline: 330 454 HELP (4357)