Rise in suicides have experts pushing for mental health prioritization Cherokee County

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According to data provided to the Spring River Mental Health and Wellness Facility in Riverton, Cherokee County had two suicides in 2017. As the 2018 data has yet to be released, this year, they already know that number has increased due to multiple situations over the past couple of weeks.

Facility members say statistics point to poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, and isolation due to being in a rural community as some of the contributing factors for suicides in the county.

Mental health professionals are calling for area residents to look at their mental wellness as more of a priority, like dealing with other health issues.

“If you have diabetes or heart disease, no one is going to think any less of you because you have to take insulin or a high blood pressure medication or a cholesterol med,” explained Lynette Downing with the facility. “So I think it’s important that we start to think of mental health issues in the same way — that we know we are a whole person and our wellness and our illnesses, it’s all in one.”

Downing adds she has recently seen a spike in farmer suicides within the region due to the amount of pressure to provide crops and economic factors.

Spring River Mental Health does provide crisis services as well. You can visit their website by clicking here.

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