Health & Fitness

Sedgwick County suicide rates continue to climb

Sedgwick County continues to have a higher average suicide rate per 100,000 people than state and national average rates.

According to recently compiled 2018 data by the Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Coalition, the county had 19.66 deaths per 100,000 people, said Nicole Klaus, an associate professor of psychology with the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita and part of the Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Coalition. In 2017, it was 18.9 deaths.

Nationally, the average suicide rate is 14 deaths per 100,000 people; in Kansas, it’s 16 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the latest available statistics from 2017, Klaus said.

There were 101 deaths by suicide in Sedgwick County in 2018, the highest number since the Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Coalition started tracking that data in 2001, Klaus said.

“Sadly, that number keeps going up,” she said.

The highest number of deaths was among 35- to 54-year-olds, who accounted for 35 of the 101 deaths.

The highest suicide rate was among 25- to 34-year-olds, at 32.68 deaths per 100,000 people, about double what it was in 2017. The most significant decrease in rates was among those 64 and older, which went from 30 deaths per 100,000 people to little more than 10.

A 24/7 local suicide prevention hotline, run by the COMCARE Community Crisis Center, is available in Sedgwick County. Call 316-660-7500 or text CONNECT to 741741. The national 24/7 suicide prevention hotline is 800-273-8255.

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