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Coos County ranks 4th in state for suicides, which are up nationally 25% since 1999

(SBG image)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- Suicide rates have gone up 25 percent nationally since 1999, a startling announcement this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study coincided with the high profile suicides of celebrities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

In Oregon, where suicide is the eighth leading cause of death, Coos County ranks the fourth highest in the state.

According to Coos Health and Wellness, just in the last year 16 people died by suicide.

They say stress over things like housing and jobs on the coast could be a factor.

"Individuals who suffer from various things," explained Eric Gleason with Coos Health and Wellness, "you've got depression; you've got lower socio-economic status if you're struggling."

Those who work with suicide prevention say it needs to be talked about considering the county's suicide rate is higher than the state average.

"This is something that is real and is not going to go away anytime soon," said Megan Ridle with Coos Health and Wellness Crisis unit. "The more we talk about it, the better results we're going to see."

Ridle encourage people in the area to call their local crisis number or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

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