Suicide Numbers Rise in Minnesota

Updated: 08/30/2013 10:34 PM By: Todd Wilson

Lindsey Rafnson says, she got a call from a family friend in the middle of the night.

"I knew something happened to Logan. But he waited 'till he came and got me and brought me to the hospital," she said.

Logan is Rafnson's brother. He suffered from depression. She would eventually lose him to suicide on April 26, 2012. She says, her family is in a coping mode.

"He was 22 so he lived at home with my parents. Those are not memories that you ever get out of your head or flashbacks that you can stop having."
Right now, Minnesota is in the midst of having its highest rate of suicide in a decade. Friday the Minnesota Department of Health released its most recent numbers. It shows a 13 percent increase in the number of suicides.

Death by suicide went from 606 in 2010 to 684 in 2011. Dr. Dan Reidenberg of the group, "SAVE," Suicide Awareness Voices for Education says, it is all alarming.

"Generally we saw increases in every age group. Primarily middle aged adults. And of that, primarily middle aged adult males in the late 50's, early 60's," he said.

He says, factors like unemployment and a lack of access to care may have contributed to the increase. Dr. Reidenberg says, death by suicide is more than just about the numbers, it's about prevention.

"Yes, the numbers are high and every one suicide is too many but there are many things that are taking place to try to reduce that burden," Dr. Reidenberg said.
Like training and education for health care professionals. Updating the states 2007 suicide prevention plan to incorporate new strategies and focusing on high risk groups.

Rafnson says, Logan was in therapy and trying different medications but in the end he chose to take his own life. She says she misses the brother she grew up with.

To help prevent suicide, there's an Out of the Darkness Walk coming up next month.
It's Sept. 15, at Como Park in St. Paul. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the walk is from 10:30 a.m. until noon. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is hosing the event.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can call their suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.