Walk Focuses Attention on Suicide Numbers in Nevada - 8 News NOW

Walk Focuses Attention on Suicide Numbers in Nevada

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LAS VEGAS -- Nevada has been one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to the number of people who commit suicide. In 2010, 547 people took their lives which was almost double the national average.

One mother, who lost her son to suicide, says support groups in Nevada are working hard to keep the numbers of suicide down.

"Funny, sensitive, troubled. I didn't know how troubled," said Linda Flatt, as she remembers her son Paul.

A photograph of Paul shows a tall, thin man in a Navy uniform. In 1993, the 25-year-old man killed himself after living with a gambling problem. It's been 20 years since his death, but for his mother, it is still very fresh.

"It took me about three years to put myself back together after he died," Flatt said.

She had nowhere to turn. That's why she has pushed for legislation to open the Nevada State Office of Suicide Prevention. Since opening in 2005, it's helped lower the suicide rate in the state.

"We were number one for a very long time in the suicide rate. Since then, we have gone to number five and we are currently number four," said Richard Egan, Nevada State Office of Suicide Prevention. "It could be divorce, it could be the loss of a child, it could be financial, it could be the loss of a home."

The agency is promoting a community walk called Walk in Memory, Walk in Hope. It will take place at Bob Miller Middle School at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14 and the public is invited.

The idea behind the walk is to remember the victims, band together as loved ones, and to get people to lose the stigma of not talking about suicide.

 

 

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