Suicides up in Thurston County

January 11th, 2016 by Ken

In the last five years, suicides have almost doubled in Thurston County, according to Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock.    For the first ten years of this century, suicides averaged about 25 per year.   But, starting in 2011 the number climbed to  more than 40.   Last year, 2015, suicides hit a high of 48.

Warnock attributes the increase to two causes.   “The economy has a lot to do with it,” he said.  “With a loss of jobs comes a loss of medical care.  People can’t get help with their medical needs and lose hope.   This sometimes also translates into domestic violence issues.”

The military build-up at Joint Base Lewis McChord also plays a role.   “A significant number of our suicides were military,” Warnock said.

According to statistic released by the coroner’s office, suicides in Thurston County are almost evenly spread through all age groups.  Guns account for about 70 percent of all suicides.

Total deaths in Thurston County in 2015 was 2,412, most of them from natural causes.   The coroner’s office investigated 312 of those deaths.   They found six homicides, 98 accidents and 48 suicides.

At the national level, President Obama said at his news conference last week, that of the 33,000 deaths by gun violence in the United States last year, around 13,000 of them were suicides.


Posted in Local Politics

(comments are closed).