Officials concerned over surge of suicides in Henry County

Coroner wants people to seek help

HENRY COUNTY, Ind. - The Henry County Coroner said he is alarmed by the rash of suicides in his county. He said financial pressures and domestic disputes were reasons for some of the suicides.

Since last July, seven people in Henry County have committed suicide, officials said.

"I've had four gunshots, two hangings and one that was carbon monoxide," Henry County Coroner Steve Hacker said.

The victims range in age from 20 to 93 years old. The most recent suicide occurred about ten days ago.

Hacker was frustrated by the deaths. He said all of the deaths are unfortunate, and some involved domestic disputes.

"A lot of cases where the children involved, parents aren't getting along and one parent decides to take the kids away, and the other one can't handle that and they resort to this," Hacker said.

The suicide prevention lifeline in east/central Indiana handled 2,100 calls in 2013.  Experts say making that call can save a person’s life.

"Absolutely a lot of time talking to them about what the problem is. Why they want to die, That's gonna help them realize they have lots of reasons to live. Calling that number could be the last effort they have in reaching out to help them save their life," social worker Tracy Bemis-Smiley said.

Help is often only a phone call away. The suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Phone lines are staffed 24/7, 365 days a year.

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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