MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Suicide rates in Macon-Bibb County are rising.
That’s according to Coroner Leon Jones. Jones says this year surpassed last year’s suicide total count – and the year is not over.
Eight months into 2019, Jones says 17 people committed suicide. This number increased from last year. Jones says there were 14 suicides throughout 2018.
Mental health is a subject that hits close to home for Jones. He says he experienced a rough patch years ago.
“I had two good friends to do it. Ironically, when I thought about taking my own life, one of the gentlemen that helped me, took his own life,” he said.
If you know someone contemplating suicide or battling depression, get them help.
“People tend to be reluctant to ask for help because of the stigma of mental health in our society and so I think maybe doing whatever you can to remove that stigma. Saying things like, ‘I know you’re not crazy. I know you’re going through a hard time right now and I want to help you,” Director of Services for River Edge Behavioral Health Ashley Allen said.
River Edge offers 24 hour crisis stabilization services at the Fulton Mill location, and there’s a River Edge counselor available at The Medical Center, Navicent Health – also 24-7.
Allen says signs of suicide usually includes mood changes.
“Look out for things like giving away important possessions to the person. You want to be on the look out for people that are maybe saying goodbye in their own way. Reaching out to people they haven’t talked to in a long time to make peace,” Allen said.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you can call 1-800-273TALK, or text 741-741.