Alarming Illinois suicide rates for millennials

Illinois sees alarming suicide rates
Updated: Jul. 11, 2018 at 6:05 PM CDT
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(KFVS) - Suicide is now one of the leading causes of death for millennials in the state of Illinois.

Syhemia Gray Cruz is now a suicide prevention advocate.

"In our community, it's really like a taboo," she said. "Like many don't like to talk about it even though this is a big issue."

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According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, this chronic epidemic is the third leading cause of death for young adults 15-34.

Gray-Cruz opened up about her story with her family in 2017.

"I have experienced it with a few of my family members who were very dear and close to me, and it just leaves family members with why," she said.

The question she wonders is, why does a person decide to end their life?

Amber Hinkle, the Chapter President of the Eastern Missouri Board for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said suicides are now outpacing homicides.

"I think it's important for people to know there are several homicides, but for all these homicides that are happening, there are more suicides happening right here in our own community," Hinkle said.

Hinkle gave examples of what to look for.

"Just any withdrawing and kind of creating distance from things that they once enjoyed," she said.

Gray-Cruz gives her suggestion for people in all around.

"Support them," said Gray-Cruz. "Check in with them. Let them know that you are thinking about them. Let them know that you love them. Because those thoughts never leave their mind."

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255).

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