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Suicides in Michigan might be down in 2020. State commission still says we can do better.

Michigan Suicide Prevention Commission recommends ways to reduce suicide rates
Posted at 3:50 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 17:37:37-04

LANSING, Mich. — Preliminary numbers show suicide rates are on the decline in Michigan, but state leaders say we can do more.

The Michigan Suicide Prevention Commission is on a mission to find ways to help people who might be at risk of taking their lives.

“Here’s the reality of that: 80 percent of suicide deaths are by men. That is because men tend to use more lethal means like firearms or hanging. However, women tend to attempt suicide more often than men," said National Alliance on Mental Illness Michigan Executive
Director Kevin Fischer.

Brian Ahmedani co-chairs the commission and says there are five major recommendations the body is making right now.

Five major recommendations from the Michigan Suicide Prevention Commission

“Working to promote safety and risk and resilience through connectedness and building safe environments. Working to improve and expand access to care for people. The third one is developing education for people across the community in this area," Ahmedani said.

Right now, the data shows suicide rates are trending down, but those numbers are from 2019.

Fischer, a fellow commissioner, says the preliminary data for 2020 is encouraging.

Quote from Kevin Fischer on the decrease in suicides in Michigan in 2020

“We’ve shown that in a normal year, there are about 1450 suicides in the state of Michigan. The initial report that I saw indicates that there were 1200 suicides for 2020. So that’s great news," said Fischer.

Elizza LeJeune is a clinician with Pine Rest Christian Services.

She says she is pleasantly surprised the report includes data on marginalized communities.

“I know for young African American men the numbers have gone up. I have found that over the last three years I have gotten an increase in males especially teens or young adults like 18 going to college seeking out counseling services," said LaJeune.

The commission will update this initial report on a yearly basis.

The work is critical because according to state health officials, the suicide rate for people between the ages of 18 to 24 is higher than the national average which stands at about 15.66 per 100,000.

The CDC reports 11% of adults in the country admitted to thinking about taking their own lives in the summer of 2020.

The CDC reports that 11 percent of U.S. adults admitted to thinking about taking their own lives in the summer of 2020.

That number is double what it was back in 2018.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, mental health advocates advise calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at:
800-273-8255.

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Elle Meyers

Elle Meyers

6:12 PM, Apr 12, 2021

State Capitol

Neighborhood Reporter

Elle Meyers

FOX 47 News Neighborhood Newsletter