Sedgwick County suicide rate hits record high

There were 96 suicides in 2017

WICHITA, Kan - Sedgwick County had a record high number of suicides in 2017, with 96 deaths reported.  That was up from 91 the previous year.

County commissioners heard a report Wednesday from the county's suicide prevention coalition.  Dr. Nicole Klaus with the KU School of Medicine said there were increases among older adults and young people ages 15 to 24.   She said the rate for adults 25 to 34 years of age was down slightly in 2017.  

Dr. Klaus said the major factors in suicides were relationship problems for younger adults, and physical health problems for older adults.  She said men are more likely than women to die of suicides, and 75 percent of the suicides in the community were men.  60 percent of the suicides involved people with a known history of mental illness, and just over half had a history of a significant medical issue.

Dr Klaus says people should learn the warning signs of suicide and find out how they can get help for themselves or others.  More information is available through the county's website at 

Upcoming activities that relate to suicide prevention include a mental health summit Friday at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center.  The Sedgwick County chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is having an Out of the Darkness Walk Saturday, September 15th at the Hyatt Waterwalk, with registration at 10 a.m. and the walk beginning at noon.   There will be free suicide prevention training at the downtown YMCA on Saturday, September 22nd.


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