DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County officials say they are concerned by the increased number of suicides they are seeing so far this year, especially in recent weeks leading up to the Christmas season.
Dougherty Co. Coroner Michael Fowler said he is concerned by the high number of suicides recently.
"In the last two weeks we had four suicides. Two on the same day. So people are going through something," said Fowler.
Fowler said Dougherty Co. has the 24th highest number of suicides in the state, despite the population size. He says the number of south Georgians who attempt suicide but live makes the numbers shockingly higher.
Fowler says relationships are the most common reason for people taking their own lives in recent weeks.
"If they feel their spouse is going to leave them. Or they feel a divorce is going to come into play, they would just rather die. So that is what we have been seeing," said Fowler.
With Christmas and the holiday season here, Fowler said depression or financial problems can also lead some to suicide. He urges south Georgians to think about their families, and seek help.
"Find someone to talk to. A Pastor or someone. You need to find someone to talk to, because there is always help. But a lot of times we think that's the only way out.
But you don't realize that you leave and devastate your whole family," said Fowler.
Fowler said there will be more suicides in Dougherty Co. in 2016 than the previous year, but the final numbers are still being calculated.
Fowler said most people think the majority of suicides occur during the Christmas holiday period, but more actually happen during the spring and summer season than any other time of the year.