Local experts discuss suicide awareness after recent celebrity d - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Local experts discuss suicide awareness after recent celebrity deaths

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Local experts speak about suicide awareness after increased deaths (WFSB) Local experts speak about suicide awareness after increased deaths (WFSB)
SUFFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

Anthony Bourdain’s death was the second notable suicide this week.

Channel 3 looked deeper into the growing concern of suicide on the national and local level. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new numbers on Thursday and suicide is now one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the country.

In Connecticut, the suicide rate is the highest it’s been in nearly 30 years.

Nationally, suicides have increased by 25 percent over the last 20 years and in Connecticut, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reveals with more than 400 suicides last year, our residents are killing themselves more than ever before.

“We’re talking about a suicide rate of 15 people per 100,000 in the united states. That’s more than the homicide rate,” said Dr. Hank Schwartz from Hartford Hospital.

Schwartz, Psychiatrist in Chief at Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living, is confronting the uncomfortable truth.

“A suicidal act isn’t a cry for help, it’s a very definitive act to end one’s life,” said Schwartz.

The reality of these tragedies is evident in the small town of Suffield.

“Unfortunately, in this community, in the last year and a half, we’ve lost three teenagers,” said Captain Christopher McKee from the Suffield Police Department.

In a town where the degrees of separation are slim, McKee says the effects have a lasting impact on locals.

“The community gets devastated. The school community, the students, by extension, their families,” said McKee.

In response to these tragedies, this town is ramping up awareness efforts. Experts have been enlisted to start discussions at the high school and in town.

“There’s a lot of support out there, we have to figure out a better way to connect the support with the need,” McKee said.

Then, the constant reminder, if you see something, say something.

In cases involving mental health, Schwartz says the warning signs of depression, sleep problems, and irritability, may not be as apparent or bold as you’d expect.

“Suicidal wishes are some of the most intensely held secrets that people have,” said Schwartz.

While the suicide deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade have ignited the important conversations around mental health, Schwartz says it could also result in copycats where people may feel like this validates their suicidal thoughts.

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by clicking here.

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