New numbers show suicide continuing to rise in Sedgwick County

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The Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Coalition has been collecting data on suicide for more than 15 years. New numbers show suicide rates in 2018 were the highest the coalition has ever seen.

"You may never have been impacted by suicide, but that doesn't mean it's not going to touch your life at some point," says Diedre Manis, a Program Director at Comcare Crisis Center. 

In Sedgwick County, 101 people died by suicide last year, a 76% rise since 2001.

"It's becoming more and more apparent that suicide and mental health are a crisis in our country and our community," says Dr. Nicole Klaus, an Associate Professor at KU School of Medicine.

A population who often gets forgotten are those who attempted suicide, but survived. Experts say there may have been as many as 10,000 suicide attempts in Sedgwick County in 2018.

"Sometimes it's loss of control, sometimes they've had a recent health diagnosis. They feel they've lost control of their lives," says Manis.

While it can be difficult to talk about suicide, it could mean the difference between life and death.

"When we don't talk about it, what that says to those individuals is that it's not an okay thing to talk about," says Manis.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the 24-hour Community Crisis hotline at 316-660-7500.

You can also text "CONNECT" to 741741.

The national suicide hotline is 800-273-8255.