Suicide Prevention

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Knoxville (WVLT) - Over the last 48 hours, the Knox County Sheriff's Department and Knoxville Police say they have each received three suicide attempt calls.

And some experts in counseling say the number of suicides is rising in East Tennessee.

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt shows you how to tell if someone you love is at risk.

According to the Knoxville Police Department, between January 1, 1999 and September 26th, 2006 there were 197 attempted suicides, and 251 suicides.

Experts say educating the public can help prevent these numbers from increasing.

"It's really our effort to make people realize that mental health is not something that only strange, sick people struggle with, we all deal with mental health issues," explains Connie Briscoe, from UT Counseling Center.

Briscoe says suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among college students, and the 3rd among people who are college age.

A sample survey of UT students shows 8% had seriously considered attempting suicide in the last year.

"UT has what, 25,000 students, that can be quite a number of people that have considered taking their life in the last year,' says Marci Burroughs, from UT Counseling Center.

Here are some signs of suicidal behavior: Any signs of depression, a person may become isolated or withdrawal themselves. Their sleep patterns and appetite may change and a person may start giving away things they treasure.

"Unfortunately they usually don't seek out mental health services which is why it's such a community issue because it's the people in their life that they're actually gonna give the signs and clues to," explains Burroughs.

The Sheriff's Department says suicides increase or decrease depending on the time of year.

"Summertime is, holidays are certainly times for depression, people getting to a point where they start talking about suicide," says Knox County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Tom Spangler.

But to avoid this situation, Burroughs says the best thing you can do is talk to your loved ones.


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