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After SC sees substantial increase in suicide, state releases new plan to combat deaths

by Jerrel Floyd

With South Carolina seeing one of the highest statewide increases in suicide, state mental health experts want to address the problem with a new suicide prevention plan.

The S.C. Suicide Prevention Coalition recently announced the release of the new South Carolina Strategy for Suicide prevention.

Led by John Magill, director of the S.C. Department of Mental Health, the plan will be an ongoing developing strategy that will function as a resource to communities.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported South Carolina’s suicide rate has increased by over 38 percent since 1999.

The national average is just over 25 percent. Suicides across the country contributed to the recent news that life expectancy in the U.S. has dropped.

“The work of the Coalition is to support this alarming public health issue,” Magill said in a press release.

This new plan replaces a previous 2010 strategy. The goal of the new plan is to raise more awareness about suicide, advocate for policy shifts and provide support for suicide prevention.

According to Dr. Alex Karydi, a program director with the Department of Mental Health, the coalition wasn’t running between 2010 and 2016 and there was no new strategic plan to address the issue. So the current strategy provides new knowledge and new research that didn’t exist in 2010.

The Post and Courier
Dec. 14, 2018

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