Cheyenne, WY – Community coalitions are helping Wyoming
health officials gather more information about the state's high suicide rate, in the hopes that learning more about why people take their own lives will help prevent such acts in the future.
Keith Hotle is the suicide prevention specialist in the Wyoming
Health Department. He says since the state held a statewide Suicide Prevention Conference in May, the number of community coalitions on the issue has risen from seven to 16.
Those coalitions are helping make sure that suicides are accurately reported. And they're also collecting information, what's often called a "psychological autopsy," about people who commit suicide.
Recent studies have put Wyoming's suicide rate as one of the highest in the country. But Hotle says it's still NOT entirely clear why that's the case.
He says the work being done by the community coalitions may provide answers -- answers that could help in the development of better suicide prevention programs.