WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new report released on Tuesday shows Trumbull and Columbiana counties with some of the highest suicide rates in Ohio.
The study was done by a group called the Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health. It’s working to solve some of the most complex health problems in the state.
All of Ohio’s 88 counties were tracked for 10 years, from 2008 to 2017.
The Trumbull County Suicide Prevention Coalition met Tuesday afternoon to talk about its new billboard across from the Eastwood Mall promoting Mantherapy.
“This is our highest suicide rates statistically in Trumbull County are those middle-aged Caucasian men who are completing suicides,” said Ilona Roth-Cohn, a suicide interventionist.
The coalition was formed two years ago when suicides in Trumbull County increased from 23 in 2013 to 40 in 2017.
The numbers released on Tuesday showed Trumbull County with the ninth highest suicide rate in Ohio at 17.1 per 100,000 in population.
Columbiana was right behind at 11th with 16.7, while Mahoning County was 45th with 12.9.
“We always knew we were one of the higher ones,” said April Caraway.
Caraway runs the Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board.
“The reasons vary but in most of these communities, employment and loss of employment becomes an issue — finances, relationship issues,” she said.
The report also showed suicide rates in Ohio increased by 24% in 10 years. People ages 20 to 29 had the highest rate, and a firearm was the method most often used.
But in Trumbull County, it’s middle-aged white males completing the most suicides, thus the reason for the Mantherapy program.
“And since we’ve started this campaign and the billboards went up, usage of going to the Mantherapy website to get information on how to get help has gone up,” Caraway said.
Caraway also said suicide rates in Trumbull County are going down. In 2017, there were 40, but in 2018 there were 28.
“So if they continue the downward trend obviously we’ll continue what we’re doing and hope that that’s what’s helping to prevent some of these,” Caraway said.
One other thing stressed at the meeting was the use of gun locks, since firearms are the leading method of suicide. The coalition is looking to get some so they can be handed out for free.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call 911 or the Help Network of Northeast Ohio if you live in the following areas:
— Mahoning and Trumbull counties: 330-747-2696
— Columbiana County: 330-424-7767
— East Palestine, Sebring, Beloit and western Columbiana County: 1-800-427-3606
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.