Society must lift veil of silence about suicides

March 29, 2019 | The Enterprise

Sad news out of Florida was overshadowed this weekend by news out of Washington. Two teens who were survivors of the deadly shooting a year ago at a high school in Parkland died by suicide one day apart. They were high school students who apparently saw no hope. Suicide is no longer a topic to be cloaked in silence, for it is costing our country too many lives – from teens to veterans to the elderly.

We may never know why those Florida students killed themselves. But it’s not a topic as remote as it might seem. In Malheur County, six people on average take their lives by suicide, according to state data. Each death leaves questions and trauma for relatives, friends and co-workers.

The rate of suicide is higher in Oregon than in the country as a whole. One authority calculated that an Oregonian commits suicide every 12 hours. Every 12 hours. Among those aged 15 to 34, it is the second leading cause of death. One-fourth of suicides are by veterans. And men are nearly four times as likely to take their lives as women, indicating to experts that men remain resistant to admitting and seeking treatment for depression and other mental health issues.

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