CDC Study: Suicide rates on the rise in nearly all 50 states

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - "The two requirements for being an RSS is you have to be someone in recovery for mental illness or substance use," Cody Johnson said.

Cody Johnson is a Recovery Support Specialist at the Lighthouse Behavioral Wellness Center.

"My family has a long line of substance abuse and mental illness," Johnson said. "At age 15 due to several circumstances, I did become very depressed and I decided I wanted to take my own life."

A friend's mother stopped her after she told someone she was considering suicide.

"One person commits suicide in Oklahoma every 11 hours," Deana Tharp said.

A recent study released by the Center of Disease Control shows suicide rates are on the rise in nearly all 50 states.

Deputy Executive Director Deana Tharp says their clinic provides resources and treatment for those considering suicide in Southern Oklahoma.

"25 of those states had an increase of 30% or more," Tharp said. "In Oklahoma, our increase was 37.6%."

Tharp says the study also showed that 54% of people who committed suicide were not diagnosed with a mental illness.

"It can be people who are experiencing relationship issues, jobs stress, financial stress - so really anyone can be prone to having suicidal thoughts," Tharp said.

The Lighthouse has a 24 hour number to call if anyone needs to be connected to a counselor at 1-800-522-1090.

People can also visit their 24 hour Crisis Stabilization Unit at their office on 1219 K Street N.W. - on the campus of Mercy Hospital. Locations in other counties can be found at their website www.mhsso.org.

"If you are going through something like that, it is not a weakness," Johnson said. "You are a human being and your life is worth saving."

Help can also be reached by calling the national suicide hotline number at 1-800-273-8255.



 
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