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Suicide numbers in South Dakota well above the national average numbers

Source: AP
Source: AP(Associated Press)
Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 8:13 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The South Dakota Department of Health gave an update Tuesday on its operations and programs to the House Health and Human Services committee.

According to WNAX in Yankton, the director of the Family and Community Health Division, Beth Dokken, said suicide was the 9th leading cause of death in the state in 2019.

“But it is the second leading cause of death among age 15 to 34. So that’s really the key population that- you know of course we want to look at all populations- but really hone in on what can we do particularly in that age group around our prevention efforts and just our collaborative work that we’re doing across departments,” she said.

In 2019, South Dakota had the 8th highest suicide rate in the United States.

“We also do what’s called a youth risk behavior survey and according to that survey in 2019, 23.1% of South Dakota high school students did consider suicide, and 12.3% of high school students had attempted,” Dokken said. “So again, very sobering numbers there that we really want to pay attention to and continue to address those concerns.”

She also said suicide rates among Native Americans was about two and a half times higher than the rest of the population.

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