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30% of Huron County adults say their mental health is 'not good'

Norwalk Reflector - 9/13/2018

Sept. 13--It's National Suicide Prevention Week, part of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Locally, suicide is an issue that has continued to rise and devastate the community.

On the state level, with the exception of 2014, Ohio consistently has rated higher than the nation's average in suicide rates.

With a rate of 14.11 percent per 100,000 people, data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows it actually has increased the gap over the national average of 13.42.

The CDC reported, on average, one person dies of suicide every five hours in Ohio and it is the 11th leading cause of death throughout the state. However, it is the second leading cause of death among those aged 15 to 34.

Ohio's suicide rate increased by 36 percent, according to the most recent CDC report released in June, making it one of the highest national rates.

Local numbers 'significantly higher'

The Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio's 2017 community health assessment revealed while Huron County has improved in some aspects, suicide, depression and mental health were not among them.

According to the data, across the county 30 percent of adults said their mental health was "not good."

"This is unfortunately significantly higher than years past," said Bellevue Hospital president Mike Winthrop at the health assessment presentation last year. "That again puts us above the state and national average."

Winthrop said income has a "significant effect" on these rates locally.

About 11 percent (up from 8 in 2007) of adults said they felt sad or hopeless for two or more weeks in row, a rate that increases as income decreases he said.

1 in 5 youths attempted suicide

Rates among the youth are just as disturbing.

All mental indicators on the survey reportedly declined, reporting the worst numbers in a least 10 years. All of the mental health indicators in the assessment were above the state average. Most were either on par or above the national average.

--18 percent reported having "seriously considered attempting suicide" in the past year.

--7 percent actually attempted suicide, some more than four times

--Nearly 30 percent said they felt "sad" or "hopeless" almost every day for two or more weeks. More than a third of high school students reported these feelings.

Anyone who needs help or support or knows of someone who could use mental-health assistance -- whether in a crisis situation or not -- can call MHAS at 419-668-8649.

The national suicide hotline is 1-800-826-1306. Those seeking support or who are contemplating suicide can anonymously text "4hope" to 741741 and should receive a response within five minutes.


(c)2018 the Norwalk Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio)

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