Tuesday is World Suicide Prevention Day, and Wyoming consistently has one of the highest rates of suicide in the nation.
Middle-aged men are the most likely to commit suicide, and the Prevention Management Organization of Wyoming has been conducting a pilot media campaign to encourage them to seek help.
Rich Lindsey is one of the consultants who organized the effort. He says they ran TV ads, put up billboards, and did other forms of messaging. They did the project in Park County, where the suicide rate is 300 percent above the national average. They then tracked how many people called the hotline listed in the ads. About a dozen people called and said the ads prompted them to seek help.
“That’s a significant number, because really, you’re targeting a fairly small and very specific group of people,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey says they’re planning to extend the media campaign to other counties in the next few months. If it’s successful, they’ll try to do it across the whole state.