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A special balloon launch took place Monday at Zane's Landing Park to raise awareness about teen suicide.
Purple, teal and yellow balloons filled the sky to remember those who have been lost to suicide. Mayor Jeff Tilton proclaimed may 20th, as teen suicide awareness day in Zanesville and May to be mental health awareness month. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in teens and the numbers are only growing.
"Suicide rates, among adolescents age 10 to 14 years old, have increased by a staggering 104% and during those same years, people ages 15 to 24, suicides have increased by 11%,” said Angela Dilly, an intern for Thompkins Child and Adolescent Services.
Some risk factors for teens with suicidal thoughts include: previous attempts, a family history of suicide or mental disease, substance abuse, family violence, or firearms in the home. But another major factor, is many of these teens do not have the proper health insurance coverage to receive the needed help.
"The reason Medicaid expansion is so important is because there are 4000 people in Muskingum County that don't have coverage,” said Executive Director at the Mental Health and Recovery Board, Rod Hollingsworth. “So it's important not just to mental health and recovery services but its also important in terms of health care that people get.”
If you or someone else is contemplating suicide, you can call various hotlines for help that are listed below.
Six County, Inc. Crisis 24hr hotline:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Teen Suicide Hotline, Suicide Prevention Services:
Or Text telephone for the Hearing impaired: