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BAY COUNTY SUICIDE RATES REMAIN HIGH COMPARED TO OTHER FLORIDA COUNTIES

September 29, 2020

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and you could help save the life of a family member, friend or co-worker.  

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. We can all help prevent suicide. The rate of suicides in Bay County remains higher than the State rate. From 2017 through 2019, 130 Bay County residents died from suicide for a rate of 21.6 compared to 14.6 for Florida. Bay County continues to have one of the highest rates among all counties.

You can do your part to help your family, friends and co-workers. Research shows people who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone checks on them in a caring way. Findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation. Individuals are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking to someone who listens without judgement. Help them create a network of resources and individuals for support and safety to help them take positive action and reduce feelings of hopelessness. Ongoing contact may be an important part of suicide prevention, especially for individuals after they have been discharged from hospitals or care services.

For help you can contact Life management Center on their 24-Hour Crisis Line at (850) 522-4485 or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255). You can also visit SAMSHA.gov or SuicidePreventionHotline.org. Save these numbers and links in your phone.

As part of our Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), The Florida Department of Health in Bay County (DOH-Bay) works with many partner organizations to help improve mental health and substance use through the Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC) and the Bay Opioid Overdose Council (BOOC). Through our efforts we hope to increase connection between persons with mental health and substance use with services to help them recover. We also hope to increase the number of persons who are trained in Mental Health First Aid. Another goal is to educate persons on mental health and substance use and available resources in the community.

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About the Florida Department of Health 

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.