SPECIAL BULLETIN: SUICIDES UP IN DOOR COUNTY
Recent suicides in Door County have sounded an alarm in our community. From 2015-2018, a total of 22 lives were lost in Door County due to suicide. In 2019, the county had 7 deaths by suicide. According to the Brown County Medical Examiner’s Office, which serves Door County, 2020 saw at least 7 deaths by suicide in Door County. This count is preliminary as the cause of death had not yet been finalized for several other cases still under investigation.
A recently released report by the Centers for Disease Control found increases in suicides and suicidal ideation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 11% of American adults reported seriously considering suicide in June 2020. This is roughly double the percentage for June 2019. The rate was highest among 18-24 year-olds (25%) and unpaid caregivers for adults (30%). The report also found the rate of individuals reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety was 3 to 4 times higher than last year. 40% of Americans reported some mental health or substance use concern related to the pandemic.
Statistics from the Door County Department of Health & Human Services crisis system would also suggest an increased prevalence. Calls to the emergency crisis line increased from 664 in 2019 to 729 in 2020. Sadly, some who need help the most do not reach out for help in advance, and friends and family members do not notice any warning signs.
The Door County Mental Health Focus Group is embarking on a campaign to turn this tide. Look for lighthouses around the county in the coming weeks with messages of hope and suggestions for how to help. Working together, we can make a difference and achieve zero suicides in our community.
Door County Crisis/Suicide Intervention 24/7 Hotline (920) 746-2588
or text "HOPELINE" to 741741. Text message based free service by Center for Suicide Awareness. For Spanish, text "APYO" to 839863