Suicide rates are on the rise. But Sedgwick County commissioners hope they've found a way to keep them down in the future.
A special county task force has released suicide statistics. In 2003 there were 58 suicides in Sedgwick County. That's more than one a week.
The task force hopes to cut that number in half over the next six years. They hope the statistics they've gathered will help them.
Terry Miller's son Jason committed suicide eight years ago. Terry talked to KAKE News when he joined the county's suicide prevention task force two years ago.
The task force released its report. Task force members say it shows some surprising statistics.
Dr. Joyce Webb says, "We really did expect to see a higher rate of suicides during the holidays, traditionally that's what you hear."
Instead, the data shows most suicides in Sedgwick County happen in July, followed by September through early November.
The task force also expected more suicides over weekends, because people are more isolated then. But in 2003, most happened on Tuesday, followed by Wednesday then Thursday.
The task force looked at stressful situations right before the suicide. 19% of people had argued with a loved one. But the statistic they're really keeping an eye on, especially here in the county is that 14% who committed suicide were unemployed. That number could be even higher, but most of the reports didn't document this area.
The silver lining is the rates of suicide have gone down in teens 19 and younger and in seniors sixty and up. The task force credits this to preventative programs targeting those groups.
But the disturbing trend is suicides among those 40 to 59 doubled.