September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month

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Chippewa County (WQOW) -

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month, and local officials are trying to combat Wisconsin's higher than average suicide rate.

Laura Baalrud, the community health educator for HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital, said some warning signs of someone who is at suicidal risk include dramatic and impulsive behavior and signs of hopelessness.

Baalrud said the number of suicides is increasing in the Chippewa Valley.

"(In 2016), in Eau Claire County, we had 22 suicides. In Chippewa County (in 2016), we had 14 suicides."

She added that the suicide average in Wisconsin is also on the higher end. "The average for Wisconsin is 13 suicides per 100,000 population per year. We are at high amounts of suicides in our area than the state norm, or the national norm," Baalrud said.

The high number of suicides in Wisconsin draws from being more of a rural state, according to Baalrud.

She said if you know someone who may be suicidal, the best way to get immediate help is to contact 911 in order to get directed to authorized officials for assistance.

The National Suicide Prevention Helpline is 1-800-273-8255.

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