Montana May Now Have the Highest Suicide Rate in the Country
Information from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services may indicate that Montana has the highest suicide rate in the country.
This comes after a study from CEUFast.com, a continuing education website for nurses, found that Billings, Montana, was the city with the highest prevalence of depression in the country.
Montana's Suicide Data from 2022
In a recent article from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, MDPHHS director Jon Ebelt confirmed that Montana "had 323 suicides in 2022, for a rate of 28.77 suicides per 100,000 people." In the past, Montana has had consistently high suicide rates.
The Chronicle confirmed data with Wyoming's public information officer, Kim Deti, and found that Wyoming had a rate of 26.66 suicides per 100,000 people, indicating that Montana's rate was higher in 2022.
Ebelt, in speaking with the Chronicle, also acknowledged Montana's numbers "are subject to change."
How Montana Is Raising Awareness About Suicide
A release from RiverStone Health in Billings, Montana, said there Suicide Prevention Conference on September 22, hosted by The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Yellowstone Valley. The conference will feature local healthcare professionals and data about suicide risk in the area. CEU credits are available for LCPC, LCSW, LAC, nurses, and teachers.
An article in the Independent Record says that Lewis and Clark Health has just launched a new tool that will help Lewis and Clark Public Health "track resources and data to improve the local system." A key aspect of the tool, which is a dashboard, is information about the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.
Missoula's Mayor Jordan Hess and the Missoula Board of County Commissioners recently designated September 7 - September 14 Suicide Prevention Week in the county and city, according to a release from Missoula's Public Health. For a list of events throughout the week, visit this link.
Another important part of suicide prevention is breaking the stigma around suicide and mental health in general. You can learn more about the importance of communication here.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call or text 988, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. More information is available at 988lifeline.org.