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An alarming rise in the suicide rate reason for concern

As we gradually reopen in the new normal world of COVID-19, there will be much to sort out.

Continued adherence to safety rules that we have learned in the past two months is of paramount importance now as our society boldly walks out of isolation and slowly gets back to business.

And it is important that we get our of our homes and back to business, for any number of reasons.

Perhaps one reason to get back to work that has not gotten as much attention, sadly, is a rise in the suicide rate.

Keith Wagner, executive director of the Lycoming/Clinton Joinder Board, recently reported that the number of suicides has increased at an alarming rate during the pandemic.

With the loss of jobs and money comes insecurity, anxiety, anger and depression and the behaviors that those feelings can create, he said.

Feeling isolated is among the warning signs that a person may feel suicidal, according to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), one of the nation’s first organizations dedicated to the prevention of suicide.

Some signs are obvious and include talk of wanting to die, of feeling hopeless, of feeling trapped or being a burden to others.

Other signs may not be as obvious. They may include an increase in the use of alcohol or drugs, sleeping too little or too much, displaying extreme mood swing and showing rage, according to SAVE.

Individually, we have the power to alter this desperate course. Check in with family, friends, neighbors and loved ones and ask how they are doing. The offer of a supportive ear can help a person through difficult times such as these. Staying connected can make a huge difference in the life of an isolated person.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 offers 24/7, anonymous, free crisis counseling.

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