S.C. Dept. of Mental Health raising awareness for suicide prevention resources

Updated: Sep. 21, 2020 at 2:00 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - More than 800 South Carolinians die by suicide every year, and more than 7,000 suicide attempts annually according to new information from the South Carolina Department of Mental Health.

Jennifer Butler, the program director for the Office of Suicide Prevention, says for every life lost by suicide in the state, 135 other individuals are affected.

“In 2020 we are concerned, looking at last year’s numbers and looking at everything that is going on in our world this year, at what those numbers might look like this year,” Butler said. “This discussion is so important and we have to get the word out that there are resources in South Carolina.”

Butler says data from the Department of Mental Health and the CDC shows the number of suicide attempts in children has continued to increase over the past four years. In 2019, 433 children between the ages of 15 and 19 attempted suicide, and more than 250 children ages 10 through 14 made the same attempt.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Butler says help is available for people who may be feeling signs of depression, anxiety, and contemplating suicide. South Carolina has a new mental health phone and text options launched in 2020.

You can call 1-844-SC-HOPES (1-844-724-6737) or text HOPE4SC to 741-741 to speak with a trained crisis counselor in-person or by text message.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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