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Number of Suicides in Missoula County Jumps 75 Percent in 2016

Suicide
Photo courtesy of Jon King

2016 isn’t even over yet, but the number of suicides in Missoula County may have already hit a record high, with a jump of at least 75 percent over 2015 numbers.

“For the year of 2016, we’ve had 35 suicides throughout the year, this includes everything from overdose, to gunshot and blunt force trauma,” said Missoula County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Brenda Basset.  “We’ve had more suicides by gunshot than any other means, we’ve had 24 so far in 2016, which is a pretty high percentage considering we’ve had 35 altogether.”

The number of suicides is high even compared to recent years.

“In 2015, we had 20 suicides, in 2014 we had 31, in 2013 we had 24…. they’re all above that 20-range and that’s just too many,” Bassett said. “We have a lot of talks in our own office about how to prevent suicide, especially among our kids. There’s a national statistic that kids are actually committing suicide now more than they are dying in car crashes.”

Missoula’s high number of suicides isn’t an isolated problem, the state of Montana ranks number one in the nation for the number of suicides per-capita. The suicide rate in the Big Sky State is nearly double the national average.

Anyone considering suicide should contact 1 800 273-TALK. More information about suicide and suicide prevention in the Missoula area can be found at Project Tomorrow.org.

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