Increase in suicide stumps authorities

Unraveling an increase in suicide isn’t particularly hard. One need only look at La Crosse County in Wisconsin where authorities have tallied up the number of people who took their own lives in 2017. Twenty-four, the La Crosse Tribune reports today.

The medical examiner in the county was reportedly at a loss to explain it.

Perhaps Judy Shoults, a member of the La Crosse Area Suicide Prevention Initiative, has provided a clue.

“Maybe people are just not reaching out,” she said. “It’s the same old same old, so we just have to keep plugging. But sometimes, if they call to get help, they get put on a waiting list.”

A waiting list?

The burden has long been placed on people with mental health issues to reach out. Who hasn’t heard “if only he/she had asked for help” in the wake of a suicide? We’ve also been conditioned to believe the problem is that people are ashamed to ask for help. Maybe so, but too often, people who ask for help aren’t getting it, and the consequences for the broken promise is suicide.

“I do see people being more compassionate, and people are talking,” she said.

We’re 9 days into the new year. There’s already been one suicide in the county.

Related: New Trump order focused on preventing suicide among new vets (Military Times)