April 25, 2024

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Kansas suicide rate up; mental health experts share prevention tips

6 min read
Kansas suicide rate up; mental health experts share prevention tips
A group of friends try specially made drinks at a gathering in a Kansas City apartment in 2018. Having a good support system and reaching out to others can help during difficult times.

The kind words and friendly manner of the female clerk at the Walgreen’s store where Marcia Epstein was standing in line left an indelible impression on her.

That clerk engaged with and brightened the day of each person who made purchases at her register, Epstein said.

When it was Epstein’s turn, she told the clerk, “Thank you for being so good to everyone.”

“Then I looked at her name tag and it said, ‘Angel,'” Epstein recalled. “I thought ‘What a perfect name.'”

Epstein, a Lawrence resident who’s long been involved with suicide prevention efforts, told that story as she discussed things people can do to help lower the suicide rate.

One thing people can do is show more kindness to others and themselves, Epstein said.

“Love really IS the answer,” she said.

‘From outward appearances, she had it all’

The suicide rate for the state of Kansas rose bymore than 60{b574a629d83ad7698d9c0ca2d3a10ad895e8e51aa97c347fc42e9508f0e4325d}, from 12.02 per 100,000 population in 2000 to 19.25 per 100,000 population in 2020, according to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability. That gave it the nation’s 13th-highest suicide rate.

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