County hopes to curb rising number of suicides

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Sedgwick County leaders are hoping to reduce the number of suicides in the community.

Last year, 99 people in Sedgwick County died by suicide. Of those, 14 were under the age of 24.

"Suicide is a terribly complicated death, terribly complicated grief for the survivors," said Tisha Darland, director of crisis and outpatient services for COMCARE of Sedgwick County.

Darland is encouraging people to use their services including their 24-7 crisis hotline.

"At the community crisis center, we see an average of 8 to 10 kids a day that are talking about suicide. I'm talking about 5-year-olds, 7-year-olds. We've lost kids under the age of 10 to suicide in our community," said Darland. "To think about a child being that hopeless, and feeling that alone, we've got to do better."

We spoke with a mother who lost a child to suicide. She supports COMCARE as a resource and encourages people to reach out to them.

She also said this quote by Leo Buscaglia has helped her. "I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love."

For help, call the COMCARE crisis hotline at (316) 660-7500 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

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