Dougherty Co. suicide numbers up since 2017

Dougherty Co. suicide numbers up since 2017

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler said the number of suicides in the first three months of the year has increased since 2017.

Fowler said that last year, they had seven suicides in total.

Oddly, the amount that we had in the first three months of 2019, is the same as the first three months of 2018.

Now, Fowler wants to stop that number from going up.

“I just feel that it’s really bad that it has to lead to that,” said Erica Brackin, a resident.

Suicide, the silent killer that’s sometimes overlooked. According to Fowler, it’s a big problem in this area.

Fowler said from January to now, there’s been four suicides, the same amount as this time last year. He said what’s most alarming is the sudden increase since 2017. In 2017, there was one suicide in the first three months.

“I think it’s very important to bring it up to the public so the public will be aware of what’s going on in the community so we can help one another,” said Fowler.

From bullied children, to individuals in broken relationships and people struggling with a recent diagnosis, Fowler said he’s mainly seeing it in ages 25 and up.

“The adults are the ones who are being depressed or dealing with issues in life,” said Fowler.

“I feel like they should talk it over with people or whatever the case may be for them to have suicidal thoughts. They should talk to somebody about it,” said Brackin.

Very passionate and even emotional during this interview, Brackin said it’s because this subject strikes a personal cord.

“I had a few friends who’ve had suicidal thoughts and it’s just sad because I try to be there for them,” said Brackin.

Being there for individuals who are in pain could prevent them from being in a grave.

“If they start going through something, they need to talk to someone. Suicide is not the answer,” said Fowler.

But help is. And for anyone thinking about this way out, a young woman who almost buried several of her friends has a message.

“God loves you. You have Jesus. You have friends and family that care about you and love you,” said Brackin.

Fowler said they’re trying to prevent this from happening by holding reenactment events and PSAs.

WALB also spoke with Aspire Behavioral Health who is encouraging anyone who is in a crisis to visit their office which is opened 24/7 on West 11th Avenue in Albany.

You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime at 800-273-8255.

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