NCDHHS announces action plan to reduce suicide in N.C.
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released a new action plan intended to reduce the rate of injury and death associated with suicide.
According to the plan, which can be read here, efforts will be collaboratively implemented over the next four years, with an evaluation occurring in 2025. The DHHS and its partners will further collaborate with the Governor’s Challenge, which seeks to address the impact of suicide among active duty military and veterans.
The action plan aligns with the Healthy North Carolina 2030 goal of reducing statewide suicide rates. Per the release, suicide was the second leading cause of death in 2019 for those ages 10-18 in the state. For those ages 19-34, suicide was the third leading cause of death that year. Aside from deaths associated with suicide, suicide-related injuries accounted for 11,000 emergency department visits and over 3,000 hospitalizations in 2020.
“We know that someone who is considering suicide thinks they have no other option, and this plan implements multiple effective strategies to reach them before that point,” said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “The numbers of people considering suicide is staggering, and the COVID-19 pandemic made our challenge even greater. Behavioral health and resilience are one of our three priorities to recover stronger, and this coordinated effort will ensure that we make a difference in the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians.”
Per the report, increasing access to treatment and supportive services is one key element to the plan. Other elements include:
- Increasing awareness and education related to mental health
- Teaching safe storage practices
- Developing crisis intervention strategies
For more information about the plan, please visit the NCDHHS website.
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