Wyoming Department of Health Announces Suicide Prevention Symposium in Cheyenne
The Wyoming Department of Health announced in a press release the 2022 Wyoming Suicide Prevention Symposium will be held in Cheyenne on Sept. 26.
The two-day event begins at 8 a.m. at the Little America Resort in Cheyenne.
Cathy Hoover, Injury and Violence Prevention Program manager with WDH, said in the release:
"Unfortunately, Wyoming consistently has had one of the nation’s highest suicide rates," Hoover said. "While the numbers are attention-getting and sobering, we know these numbers aren’t just statistics. They represent loved ones, teachers, co-workers, friends and children. It is nearly impossible to find someone in Wyoming who hasn’t been affected by suicide...We’re going to have great presentations from experts coming from across Wyoming and the nation."
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020, 2019, and 2018, Wyoming had the highest suicide rate across the country at 30.5, 29.3, and 25.2 per 100,000 respectively, followed by Alaska in 2020 and 2019, and New Mexico in 2018.
In 2018, 2019, and 2020, New Jersey had the lowest suicide rate across the country at 8.3, eight, and 7.1 respectively, followed by New York over all three years.
Governor Mark Gordon has taken efforts to try and address the suicide rate, including making the state suicide hotline available 24/7, the "You Matter" campaign, and participating in the challenge to prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families.
According to the release, the planned topics for the event include veteran suicide, destigmatization, transforming loss into action, marijuana and suicidal ideation, and lethal means of safety.
This isn't the first year that they've held the symposium, as one was held in 2021 which featured discussions on a number of topics including, but not limited to, the Wyoming Central Wyoming Counseling Center, Adolescent Telemental Healthcare, Workplace and Occupational Suicide Prevention, and the University of Wyoming Lifesavers Initiative.