MOUNT VERNON — Suicide, in a way, is a silent killer. People just don’t talk about it very much, even though it is the third highest cause of death for individuals between the ages of 15 and 24, and the ninth most common cause of death in Ohio. In 2012, there were four suicides in Knox County; three from gunshot wounds and one hanging. Three were male and one was female. Their average age was 38 years. In 2011, there were six suicides in Knox County; three hangings, two overdoses and one gunshot wound. Three were male and three were female. The average age was 52.
The Knox County Suicide Prevention Coalition on Thursday held a vigil on Mount Vernon’s Public Square to raise awareness, to remember those who have died by suicide and to support families who have felt and are still living the aftermath of loved one’s choice to take his or her own life.
”Suicides are very difficult for everyone they touch, myself included,” Knox County Coroner Dr. Jennifer Ogle told the News. “I always leave an investigation where suicide is the likely cause of death thinking that if the deceased would just have given it one more day or reached out to one more person they would likely have found the hope they needed to continue.”
“Suicide doesn’t discriminate,” said coalition member Kathy Wantland. “It claims young and old, rich and poor, male and female. We are here tonight to let people know that there is help out there when they feel overwhelmed, there is hope. If we help one person, we are doing something positive.”
“We’re also here for the survivors,” continued Wantland, “the people who are left behind. There are so many people who are affected by someone’s death — family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. People are afraid to talk about it.”
Suicide prevention is a challenge to everyone, said master of ceremonies Bob Birch, and everyone needs to realize it is a problem and learn about warning signs and what to do.
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