MESA COUNTY, Colo.- - The 2016 Suicide Report was released by the Mesa County Coroner's Office, revealing some tragic numbers. In fact, the report shows suicides in Mesa County has reached an all time high.
In 2016, not only was the number of total death investigations at it's highest recorded at 679, the number of suicides was the highest they've ever been as well. The report showed in 2013 the total number of suicides was 29, increasing to 36 in 2014, to 37 in 2015, and spiking to 48 suicides for 2016.
The coroner's report also shows how almost two-thirds of the suicide victims did not seek mental health services leading up to the event. The report also showed how the number of male suicides was five times greater than female suicides. Chief Deputy Coroner for Mesa County, Victor Yahn, explained, "that is a very consistent pattern that we see and it's been that way for several years...the combination that firearms are generally used in males and we have a higher suicide rate of males."
Comparing the age ranges of the 2016 suicides, 10 of the 48 suicides were in the age range of 30 to 39 year olds, with 4 in the age range of 10 to 19. The Executive Director for the Western Colorado Suicide Prevention Foundation, Jennifer Clark said with these 4 suicides committed between the ages of 10 to 19, it is extremely alarming losing loved ones so young. Clark added, "we are looking to formally partner with [School] District 51 and offer a lot of trainings in house there for the student body...targeting the middle schools this year, and of course the high schools."
As a reminder, if you are having thoughts of suicide, call 911 immediately, or for more information, contact the National Suicide Lifeline, 1-800-273-(TALK)8255 or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
To see the Mesa County Coroner's full 2016 Suicide Report, including past years, click here.