suicide prevention

A few years ago, Arnold Levinson and his colleagues found themselves in what he calls an ethical “pickle.”

They’d been compiling reports to distribute to Colorado schools that had participated in a state-wide anonymous survey, where students would answer questions about their drug use, food access and suicidal ideation, among other topics. The researchers had made a practice of sharing a school’s results as a courtesy for participating in the survey, but they didn’t tell them how they stacked up relative to the norm. Until 2013, when an analyst spotted something.

Recognizing the youth mental health crisis in the Mountain West, some states are debating bills that address the problem from both inside and outside of schools.

The entrance to a local movie theater.
Stephanie Serrano / KUNR

In Nevada, one in four high school students contemplate taking their own life. To raise awareness, Washoe County has created a suicide prevention campaign which is airing public service announcements (PSAs) in local movie theaters. 

Exterior of the Nevada State Legislature building in Carson City, Nevada.
Alexa Ard / KUNR Public Radio

As minimum wage goes up, suicide rates go down. That’s according to a new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The study found that increasing minimum wage by a dollar actually decreased the rate of suicide by 3.4% to 5.9% among those with a high school diploma or less. That is, those most likely working minimum-wage jobs.

The Rocky Mountain region continues to face some of the highest suicide rates in the country. A recent panel of experts in Colorado addressed what they said was one of the biggest hurdles to mental health: social stigma. 

Girl lifting weights.
Karina Gonzalez

Brianna Murry, 18, graduates from Galena High School this week. She was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder last year after a suicide attempt that resulted in hospitalization. Exercising is one of the ways she copes with her mental health. KUNR’s Karina Gonzalez caught up with Brianna during one of her gym sessions.

As a warning, this story includes conversation about suicide and may be triggering to some listeners. If you are in crisis please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255.

Woman high-fiving young kids.
Karina Gonzalez

Lee en español.

Nevada has recently seen more suicides in youth under the age of 18. Last year, there were 27 of these deaths, compared to 15 the year before. KUNR’s Karina Gonzalez examined this growing problem and recent prevention efforts.  

In the U.S., more than half of the nearly 40,000 gun-related deaths in 2017 were from suicides, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That proportion is even higher in Nevada. KUNR’s Anh Gray sat down with the state’s Suicide Prevention Coordinator Misty Vaughan Allen to explore this issue.

In Nevada County, an unfortunate spike in youth suicides has prompted school districts to reevaluate how they support kids. The result is a handful of new emotional health programs for preschoolers through high schoolers. 

"There's a behavioral specialist now on staff and so we're one of the pilot schools to do preschool and have him come in and help. It's really great."

Health Watch: Suicide Prevention Sevices in Northern Nevada

Oct 6, 2014

In this installment of the health watch, Richelle O'Driscoll talks with Dr. Erin Grinshteyn, assistant professor of health administration and policy at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Community Health Sciences, about suicide prevention efforts in northern Nevada communities.