OUR IMPACT

SPURRING STATE STRIDES

When the 2005 rural issue of Advancing Suicide Prevention® magazine noted that DeKalb County in Tennessee was among the six U.S. counties with the highest rates for suicide, this spurred action.

Within weeks of publication, Tennessee formed a state task force, and its largest newspaper, The Tennessean, reported on the task force and DeKalb suicide rate - about four times the national average, in its Oct. 5, 2005 story, "DeKalb officials mystified by county's high suicide rate." Tennessean reporter
Claudia Pinto consulted with Advancing Suicide Prevention® on this story, and the coverage got attention of DeKalb County Mayor Mike Foster and officials at the state level. The task force considered why the high rate of suicide is occurring, and what actions could reverse the trend; these include educating citizens on warning signs for suicide, and reducing stigma of seeking counseling.