GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Suicide rates are up in Massachusetts, with Franklin County seeing the highest increase.
It’s a public health issue that’s on the rise here and across the U.S. According to the State Department of Health, there were 608 suicides in Massachusetts in 2014. That’s more than homicides and car accidents that year combined.
77% of suicide victims were men and most of them were people between 35 and 64 years old. 40% more suicides took place in 2014 than 2004. Franklin County had the highest suicide rate in 2014, about 17 for every 100,000 people.
Juliet Giangregorio, of Greenfield said, “I’m very surprised by all this because I don’t see it or hear about it.”
Sheri Luscir, of Greenfield, told 22News, “No jobs and drugs. Drugs is a big problem in this town. I think we need a bigger drug task force.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is more common in rural areas than in cities. This is because there’s less access to care, with more mental health professionals in urban areas.
Area Director of the AFSP, Heather White told 22News their goal is to decrease the suicide rate by 20% by 2025.