Alarming Rise in DuPage County Suicides, Says Coroner

alarming rise in dupage county suicides
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DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen is reporting an alarming rise in the number of suicides in DuPage County in the first six months of 2020.

The data compares the number of suicides for January through the end of June, as compared to those same months in 2019, showing an increase of 22.7% in 2020.

Majority Occurred After Shelter-At-Home Order

The coroner’s office says the largest rise occurred after the shelter-at-home order was put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data shows that pre-lockdown, there were 20 suicides in 2020. After the shelter-at-home order was put into place, there were 34.

“It is suggested by these findings that the most vulnerable in our society are being affected negatively by the COVID-19 shutdown and response to isolation and lack of treatment availability,” said Jorgensen in a news release.

The greatest number of suicides reported for the first half of 2020 was in the 20 to 29 year old and 50 to 59 year old age brackets, with 11 and 10 deaths respectively. Men made up the largest number, at 80%.

Important to Reach Out

Jorgensen noted that during these difficult times, it is even more important to reach out to those who may be struggling.

“If you know of people who are at high risk: known drug users those in rehabilitation, persons living alone, having personal, financial or marital difficulty, mental health issues or depression, please reach out (you can still wear masks and social distance) and talk to them and see if they need companionship, support or help,” said Jorgensen. “These are difficult times made worse when an individual has mental health, depression or addiction issues. We are all in this together and need to reach out to all of those who are vulnerable in this difficult time.”

Those in need of help can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 24/7 at 800-273-8255.

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