Suicide Prevention

Suicide Sprinkled Throughout My Life

Suicide Sprinkled Throughout My Life

Suicide Sprinkled Throughout My Life

In Suicide Sprinkled Throughout My Life, I talk about how I was “introduced” to suicide.  Sadly, I didn’t really understand what it really meant until I was older.  I mean, I saw people sad and I knew that people had died but that was the extent.  Honestly, I didn’t really understand what death meant.  I believe I was 10 years old before I had ever even heard that word.  When I was 14, that is when I experienced what death really was.  There was a deeper understanding because my grandfather had died.

Throughout My Series

Throughout this month, dedicated to Suicide Prevention Awareness, I have documented stories.  All of the stories are from people I personally know and love.  I have been blessed to be in a chapter of the book that God is writing for them.  It has been hard for them to live, much less write.  Also, it has been hard for me to read and publish.  Yet, I tell them that their stories can reach other people.  Their story may be the light that another person needs in order to seek help.  They must go through the pain in order to find healing on the other side.

My Heart Aches

To know what these people have been through, hurts my heart.  I yearn for Jesus to just erase all the bad and come quickly to stop all the hurt and abuse.  He will come, like a thief in the night. He will not come when I want Him too.  Jesus says that all things will be used for His glory, as well.  I have to rest in that knowledge.  He didn’t ordain these acts, abuse, hurt…that was due to free-will of man.  Yet, He did allow it and it will be used for good.

Introduction to the Foreign Concept of Suicide

I was about 10.  The young man was a friend of our family and he loved to ride horses.  I remember, once, riding our horse and she threw me off.  There I was, on the ground, and terrified of this “beast” of a horse.  **I say ‘beast’ because she was just a pony about the size of a large dog.**  She had definitely knocked the breath out of me.  I guess she got spooked.

This friend of the family was outside watching.  His leg was broken and I remember the cast going all the way up his thigh.  I was in awe how he maneuvered around.  As I lay there…crawling away…ready to go and cry in my room and NEVER get on a horse again, here he comes.

Amazing Feat

First, he tossed those crutches (I may be exaggerating here but I was young and the memory plays like a black and white film in my head) down.  Then he leapt on that horse and “tamed” the beast.  Cast and all.  Once he calmed Baby, he jumped off.  I remember him looking me square in the eye and saying “get back on.”  Surely, he was not serious…yet he was.  I tried to squirm out of it and he would not let up.

He hoisted me back up on that beast and off she walked (she was too fat to run).  I was amazed at him and what he did.  He tamed that beast and told me not to be afraid.  After that, I was thrown off many times.  Yet, I remember Lee and I remember that image and those words.

I was no longer afraid.

Then It Happened

Whispers.  Small details.  Crying.  Lee no longer came around.  I didn’t understand and no one said anything above that whisper.  The silence was deafening.  I think of him, often, when I get scared.  Fear is a liar.  I am no longer afraid.

Quickly after that was my next memory of another friend of the family.  Again, same scenario.  He was there, whispers, small details, crying.  He no longer came around.  A sadness fell upon those I loved and I didn’t understand why. The word ‘suicide’ was never used…yet now I know.

In Another Decade of my Life

I lost another person that I loved dearly.  Completely unexpected.  He was so loved by so many people.  Talented beyond anything I could comprehend.  This one rocked me to the core.  Horrible.  It is unnatural to bury your child (even an adult child) due to suicide.  This time, I was old enough to understand all the things and my heart sunk.

And It Keeps Coming Around

My friend that I met in a Christian group…she struggled with so much.  She could not see her worth the way I saw it.  Oh, she is so precious to me.  She has gone through ebbs and flows of her life but in the end, she is one of my people whom I love dearly.  I am so thankful that she was not successful in her attempts.  The Lord knew she was needed and loved.  Sadly, though, I remember getting a message from her telling me her sister had succeeded in her attempt.  The devastation was beyond my comprehension.

The Pain in her Voice…I Still Remember

She still lights candles for her sister and talks about suicide awareness because she wants to spare another family from dealing with what she had dealt with.  I cannot imagine what she still goes through, to this day.  What her parents go through.  That hole never heals.  Again, this generational curse can be broken.  Praying the blood of Jesus to break this and He will.  Seek help, start meds, get into therapy, talk to a friend, reach out.  You could be saving a life.

Now, I Understand

Next week, I will share more memories of loved ones that have affected my thoughts and my heart.

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This is When It Began

Suicide Prevention

This is When It Began

In This is When It Began, this sweet girl reflects on her father and the beginning of her abuse.  It is so painful for me to read, yet I know that it is going to be healing.  As I have said before, you have to walk through the pain before you can heal.  That is exactly what she is doing.

This is When It Began

I Remember When

I remember the days when we would sit on the couch and watch tv or work on my homework together,

The days when I was the one you cared for the apple of your eye so to speak.

I remember us taking four wheeler rides through our land back when we were still a single family.

Back before the war between the parents where the kids had to chose sides

Where the kids had to learn who would do what.

Relearning Life

This was before the manipulation and the lies from both sides.

I wish we could have the same relationship as we did then.

When you were the one I cared for the most

But then it happened…

You Left.

You should have tried harder.

You should have at least fought for your family

but you gave in and moved out.

This is When it Began.

Mom found a new man.

We stayed with our grandparents most of the time.

This is where the abuse began.

The man who was suppose to be an uncle

turned out to be a child abuser.

As I stayed in silence he became your friend

and this is how it came down in the end.

You Did Nothing but Sit

You didn’t try to do anything.

Instead you said you knew people inside.

This was probably a lie.

Which is you didn’t care what had happened

or at least you didn’t care enough.

If you did, you would have done something… anything would have been enough.

Enough to Show that You Cared for Me

Anything at all would have sufficed.

Years later I still hold you at fault whether I should or not.

I just wish you had seen what was going on.

I mean there were signs.

But I Can’t Blame You for Someone Else’s Decisions

Just for yours at that was to do nothing.

Yes I’m still mad and still sad.

And I know I should forgive you for this one thing.

But I just can’t until I understand why.

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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Suicide Amongst the Elderly

Suicide Amongst the Elderly

Suicide Amongst the Elderly

Suicide Amongst the Elderly a very serious problem. Although the elderly (age 65 and older) comprise about 13% of the U.S. population, they account for over 18% of all suicides.

The most common cause for elderly suicide, as for all suicides, is untreated depression. Thus, elderly depression needs to be recognized and treated.  And about one third of the seniors who are 65 or older experience depression.

Depression

Some individuals believe that depression is a normal part of being elderly, which is completely untrue. Depression is not normal for people of any age. Elderly people with depression have a chemical imbalance in their brain. And that chemical imbalance is extremely common and highly treatable.

However, it is important that an elderly person who exhibits symptoms of depression receives a thorough physical exam from a medical doctor to determine if there is a physical basis for the depression. Some physical conditions and the use of some medications may cause symptoms of depression.

The following disease and physical problems may cause symptoms of depression:

    • thyroid disorders
    • diabetes
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • multiple sclerosis
    • strokes
    • tumors
    • some viral infections

 

The following medications may cause symptoms of depression:

 

    • blood pressure medication
    • arthritis medication
    • hormones
    • steriods

Kevin Caruso has so many resources and help on his website.  My Lady struggled so badly after her first round of TIA’s and her stroke.  When her keys were taken away, it was devastating to her.  I remember that she found them and drove to my house.  There I was, homeschooling my kids, and she comes honking in my driveway.  She said she was fine and she wanted to prove that she could do it.  Well, drive she did, she came to me and then went home.  Luckily, we didn’t live far apart.

Depression Set In

Her depression set in because she knew that that part of her life was over.  Her Jerome had gone to be with Jesus and now she couldn’t drive.  My heart sank. I spent everyday with her because I loved her and I couldn’t stand to see that sadness.

Please, check on your elderly neighbors.  Take food, offer to run an errand, just sit and glean from their wisdom…it is so worth it.  My life is better because she was in it.  I adored her.  She stays a part of me everyday.  My dad went through this, as well.  I can see where they feel like a burden to other people.  Remind them that they are not a burden and that they are loved beyond measure.

Statistics

According to the AAFMT Website   “In 2002, the annual suicide rate for persons over the age of 65 was over 15 per 100,000 individuals; this number increases for those aged 75 to 84, with over 17 suicide deaths per every 100,000. The number rises even higher for those over age 85. Further, elder suicide may be under-reported by 40% or more.”

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Suicide Prevention

Reflecting on This Week’s Story

Reflecting on This Week's Story

Reflecting on This Week’s Story

In Reflecting on This Week’s Story, it was another tough one to publish.  The vicious cycle that has plagued this young girl is heartbreaking.   The generational curse of addiction plays a huge role in her life.  It has not just been an issue for her and her mom.  It has been passed down from generation to generation.

The thing about generational curses is that they CAN be broken.  You can plead the blood of Jesus Christ over them and He will break them.  That was a hard concept for me to accept, personally.  For me, I just thought I was “destined” to be so many things that I had seen in my family.  That is a lie straight from the pit of hell.

God is Bigger

God is so much bigger than all the things that run through my head and this sweet girl’s head.  When I see her, I see beauty.  Not only a physical beauty but a beauty that shines from within.  Her laugh is infectious.  She is LOUD yet timid.  Loves Jesus, yet so unsure of herself.  This young lady has my heart and then some.

There is a strength about her that she has, yet it is buried under all the pain.  She wants to hide in the darkness but the Lord will not allow that, so He shines brightly on all those dark spots.  He says in His Word in Psalm 139:11-12 “If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

Wisdom

This brilliant young lady is being so wise.  She is seeking help, reaching out, saying the hard things, and admitting her struggles.  Furthermore, she is seeking medical care from doctors, therapists, and friends who understand.  This includes counseling, medication, meditation, writing, getting rest, and trying to eat better.  All these things are amazing for her.

What I Want Her to Know

Sweet girl.  You are loved by me, your friends, your church, and your family.  I am so proud of you for simply breathing every day.  Jesus wants nothing from you.  He just wants you to turn your eyes unto the hills because that is where your strength will come from.  You are beautiful, gracious, loving, and kind.  Your life has meaning and your testimony is powerful.

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My Life is Hard

Though my life is hard and i face tough issues, my God will never abandon  me. - Quotes

In My Life is Hard, this is the second part of yesterday’s post.  As you can see, mental illness can affect every ounce of your life.  Thoughts come and go like the tides of the ocean, yet she remains steadfast.  She is trying and reaching out.  Though somedays, all appears well with her, in her mind, they are not.  Please show grace and kindness to all you meet.  You do not know the battles they face.

My Life is Hard

It is a struggle for me on most days to get out of bed. To remember to make myself take my pills that are suppose to help the chemical imbalance in my brain. Aka makes me happier and more “normal”. Sometimes I feel like they work other times I feel like my old self. I let the thoughts I thought were gone back in. Once they are in I can’t get them out. I think about things that I’ve done and the way I liked the feeling. But then I think about the people I know that would be disappointed in me if I chose that path once again.

So I sit and contemplate, should I or no, I liked the pain the feeling of getting it out in a way that only I could feel I mean I wasn’t hurting anyone else was I? But no I made a promise, so I choose to sit in silence. I choose to do nothing but sit and stare into the emptiness inside of me. Most days, I try to fill the hole with anything that it will hold. I try to keep my mind occupied to keep away the thoughts of suicide.

Some Days

But then there are days when everything seems alright, the pain is still there but it’s not so debilitating. On these days life is not so bad I have the energy I can talk and reciprocate the feeling and put effort into conversating. I can express the things on my mind and try to tell them I’m not okay and need some help and not just for the day. These are the days I’m motivated, to my commitments, to my job, or do anything that involves another person. These are the days that I see my people the most. I try to explain where I’ve been and why I’ve been so distant but they know they’ve been there with me before. The days that I am ok those are the days that I feel loved and those are the days I return the love.

Few and Far Between

The good days use to be far and in between, the bad days now that’s where I lived. But now my days are starting to turn around. I’m not going to lie they’re about 50% good and 50% bad. I’m not where I want to be but I’m definitely farther than I thought I’d be. I know ill never be 100% good no one ever is. But I would like for one day the good be more than the bad.

My Goal

I know the only way to get to my goal is to work on myself and to be honest with myself. I need to be more aware of my feelings, I need to keep myself on the right path. I’ve got to decide to make the effort to get better. And I have, I take my medication when I’m supposed to and I tell the doctor when I feel like I need something new. I’m trying to go to counseling for the first time. I am honest and I try to get my feeling across. I am trying.

For me, the thing that’s helped me is the bond between the people I consider to be my support system. They aren’t afraid to tell me how it is and push me to do the things that I know I should do but am too afraid to do. My support people love me because they can, not because they feel obligated to. They choose to care about my life, they listen to me without making me feel guilty and they help and advise when they feel like they can.

Reaching Out

The one thing that’s helped me the most is finding people that share the same thoughts. Its easier, for me, to open up to someone that I know has been in a similar situation or the same mental disorder. We can share the things that we feel and know that we aren’t alone. We can talk about the bad days and not worry about the looks we will get. Because we both share the same struggles we can help each other through them. We can talk to each other without getting offended.

Thoughts on Mental Disorder

When you have a mental disorder it is hard to take responsibility for your actions so having that support group, those friends, and sometimes family it makes it easier when they can help remind you. You may have a harder time making the right decision because of the disorder but you are the one that makes that decision. Because for me, for the longest time, I blamed everything on everyone and then I blamed everything on my mental disorder. But now that I’m stable I can see that everything is up to me. I chose what to do and when to do it so I’m trying to make a better effort.

I am a Work in Progress

My life is hard but at least I try I’m no longer sitting in the dark contemplating my life. I may not be all sunshine and rainbows but at least I now can smile. I now hate myself a little less and I can admit that I am a work in progress. I’ll always struggle with this depression and my mental disorder. It will always be harder for me than most but now I am fighting for my life. I want to live and love. To grow into the person I was meant to be. I want to use my struggles to help others but most importantly I want to be free. Free of shame, free of guilt, and free of hate for myself.

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Suicide Prevention

Promised Suicide

Promised Suicide

Suicide Prevention Provides Hope - Our Side of Suicide

**TRIGGERING POST** In the story of Promised Suicide, a young woman shares how the generational curse has affected her life.  This is, of course, a very personal story.  It is heartbreaking what she has endured and continues to endure the battle of her mind.  Tomorrow, she will talk about where she is now, in life, and how her beginning was trying to dictate her future but then…there was God.

As a child:

I always promised myself that I would never be like you,

I would never leave my family feeling unloved,

I would never drink to be drunk,

I would never medicate myself,

I would never lay in the bed for weeks at a time,

I would never do anything to harm myself.

And yet as an adult:

I’ve made everyone I love feel hated,

I’ve drank because I’m sad,

I’ve thought about taking to many of my own pills,

I’ve laid in the bed for weeks at a time,

I’ve cut and carved things into my skin.

As a child:

I didn’t realize what it was like to feel Alone, Unloved, Insignificant,

All I knew was that my mother didn’t care,

My mother hated me,

My mother didn’t want to spend time with me.

My mother hated herself,

And most of all my mother wanted to die.

As an adult:

I don’t care,

I hate myself,

I don’t want to spend time with anyone,

I wanted to die.

All because I feel Unlovable, Alone, and Insignificant.

I wonder if there is any connection between what I saw as a child and why I am the way I am.

Did I learn to handle life the way I have?

I mean it would be way easier for me to blame you.

You were the one that raised me,

Or was it the other way around.

What did you expect out of me when you let me take care of you.

Did you expect me to be normal; After all the things I’ve been through?

After flushing away the last pills you didn’t take,

After picking up the blades you tried to use to take your life away,

After scrubbing your blood off of the floor and then putting everything back in place.

But no I can’t blame this on you I chose to do it too,

I chose to pick up that knife

I chose to make the plan

I am responsible for my actions

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources

Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources

My dad is a retired police officer.  I have a sister who worked in Criminal Justice for a very long time.  Also, my husband, daughter, and son-in-law work in this field.  I have dear friends who are First Responders.  These people deserve so much respect and love.  These are some Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources.  You can go to Police1 for more information.

By Police1 Staff

Public safety is a difficult profession that can lead to mental health struggles – and those struggles cannot be left untreated. More police officers died by suicide than in the line of duty in 2018, as was the case the previous year and the year prior to that. A study commissioned by the Ruderman Family Foundation found that firefighters are also more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. The following is a list of suicide prevention resources for first responders. Whether you’re on the front line and in need of immediate help, or in a leadership position looking to offer better prevention programs and help for your staff, this list should point you in the right direction.

PROGRAMS

Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources

The following programs will directly help you or help connect you to the resources you or a loved one needs. The majority of these are tailored specifically to first responders. Also, keep in mind that many of these websites list additional resources to the ones listed in this article.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline

The lifeline provides 24/7 confidential support for those in distress or in need of help for their loved ones.

CONTACT: Call 800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Crisis Text Line

A text will connect you with a trained crisis counselor, 24/7.

CONTACT: https://www.crisistextline.org/ or text BADGE to 741741

1st Help

1st Help matches first responders with appropriate services based on a brief questionnaire, which determines what specific assistance you need (emotional, financial, religious, etc.).

CONTACT: http://www.1sthelp.net/

Safe Call Now

Safe Call Now is a 24-hour crisis referral service for those in public safety and their family members.

CONTACT: https://www.safecallnow.org/ or call 206-459-3020

First Responder Support Network

FRSN provides educational treatment programs for first responders and their families.

CONTACT: http://www.frsn.org/ or call 415-721-9789

Serve & Protect

Serve & Protect helps connect public safety professionals with trauma services.

CONTACT: https://serveprotect.org/ or call 615-373-8000 for the crisis line.

Cops Alive

Cops Alive provides resources and strategies to help cops live happy and successful lives.

CONTACT: http://www.copsalive.com/

CopLine

CopLine is a 24/7 service that will connect you to a peer support counselor.

CONTACT: http://www.copline.org/ or call 800-267-5463

Treatment Placement Specialists

This program offers treatment guidance based on the individual needs of officers.

CONTACT: https://www.treatmentplacementspecialists.com/first-responders/ or call 877-540-3935

VALOR

The Valor Officer Safety and Wellness program is a Bureau of Justice Assistance funded initiative that provides a ton of resources.  Also, online training focused on improving officer health and resilience.

CONTACT: https://www.valorforblue.org/Home


ADVOCACY

The following organizations are working to raise mental health awareness and treatment options for police officers.

Blue H.E.L.P.

Blue H.E.L.P. is an organization working to reduce mental health stigma in law enforcement.  Also, raise awareness of the problem of suicide in LE.

CONTACT: https://bluehelp.org/

Badge of Life

Badge of Life’s focus is on educating.  Furthermore, it is on training agencies on mental health.  Also, suicide prevention in law enforcement.

CONTACT: https://www.badgeoflife.org/

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World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day

World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day

World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day

WARNING THIS COULD BE A TRIGGERING POST:  Today, September 10, 2020, is World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day.  Content in this issue contains information on death and dying, mental illness, and mental health crisis, which some readers may find triggering. If you need support at any time, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or the National Postpartum Depression Hotline at 1-800-PPD-MOMS.

#BEThe1To ASK

This can be a HARD thing to say.  For me, I don’t want to put that seed in their head, if it isn’t already there.  I do pray for discernment.  Simply say “How are you feeling?  Do you have anything in the home that can harm you?  Are you safe?  How can I help?  Do you feel the urge to do something unsafe to yourself.”

I always follow up with those questions with truths.  “You are loved.  I love you.  You are my treasure.  There is hope.  Value to your life.”

#BeThe1To KEEP THEM SAFE

I usually show up, if I can.  There have been many hours spent cleaning my friends up while reminding them they are loved.  I have sat at hospitals hours on end to just be present and remind them that they are loved and treasured.  This is a moment, this does not have to be their forever.  Sometimes, I have to be their voice when they are struggling to find their words.

#BeThe1To BE THERE

Did the people in the back hear this?  LISTEN WITHOUT JUDGMENT AND WITH COMPASSION AND EMPATHY.   This is NOT hard.  Just simply listen, support, encourage, and cry with them.  They don’t need you to fix it.  Honestly, they just need an ear.

#BeThe1To HELP THEM CONNECT

Know the number.  Call it for them, if they need you too.  Be the one who calls in the calvary if you need too.  Give them a list of people that can listen and help.  Pastors, family, friends, therapists and then make sure they follow through!  Go with them if they need it.

#BeThe1To FOLLOW UP

When the crisis is over, for that moment, follow up and check on them.  Once a week, send an encouraging text.  Call.  Visit.  Somehow relay that you are so thankful that they are there and the purpose that they have in this life.  God is not done with them yet!

BEThe1To  You can save a life…just by asking!!!!!!!!!!!!

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This Week’s Story

This Week's Story
Arien Smith: Abuse Recovery Advocate on Twitter: “You are not defined by your trauma. You are a whole and complete and beautiful person. #trauma #abuse #childabuse #csa… https://t.co/NhA9AZRhP8”

This Week’s Story

In This Week’s Story, my heart is heavy.  It is so … well … so many reasons.  I ache for the innocence lost.  The pain that this sweet girl still deals with.  The uncertainty of when bad days feel like they are overcoming her.  It is just hard.  Yet, there is power in her story.

I firmly believe that this WAS NOT ordained by God but allowed due to the free-will of man.  Yet, He will use her story for His glory.  She is a fighter.  Overcomer.  Warrior.  She is an amazing human being with a prayer life that is amazing and her faith has never waivered.

As sad as I am for what she went through … I am humbled by her perseverance, grace, forgiveness, and mercy.  Furthermore, her fight inspires me.  A beloved child of the King/

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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Suicide Deaths in the United States

Suicide Deaths in the United States

These are some powerful visuals from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.  The statistics are based on Suicide Deaths in the United States.  Please, stop and take a look.  More people have suicidal ideations than you think.  Sadly, some of these people may be your family or friends.

 

Suicide Rates by Sex, United States 2009-2018

From 2009 to 2018, the age-adjusted suicide death rate increased from 11.76 to 14.24 per 100,000 people. From
2009 to 2018, the rate increased from 19.23 to 22.79 per 100,000 for males. Among females, the rate increased
from 4.88 in 2009 to 6.18 in 2018.

Suicides consistently outnumber homicides.

Suicide and Homicide Rates, United States 2009-2018

The homicide rate has not consistently shown the upward trend that we see with the suicide rate.

Suicide Rates at the County Level, United States 2008-2014

 

Suicide rates are generally highest in Alaska and in the western and northwestern United States, with the exception
of southern California and parts of Washington. Rural counties generally have higher rates of suicide than urban
counties.

References

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. (2020). 1999-2018 Wide
Ranging Online Data for Epidemiological Research (WONDER), Multiple Cause of Death files [Data file].
Retrieved from CDC Underlying Cause

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2008-2014, United States Smoothed Age-Adjusted Death
Rates per 100,000 Population [map]. All Injury, Suicide, All Races, All Ethnicities, Both Sexes, All Ages.
(January 2020). Retrieved from CDC

3. Rosen, L. M., Hedegaard, H., Kahn, D., & Warner, M. (2018). County-level trends in suicide rates in the
U.S., 2005–2015. American Journal of Preventive Medicine [3], 55(1), 72-79.

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