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Suicides Up

By: Bill Martens
By: Bill Martens

You might think one of the most likely groups of people to consider suicide is teenagers. While true, it can happen to virtually anybody. The Department of Health and Family Services says 626 people in Wisconsin committed suicide, including 15 in Marathon County, nine in both Lincoln and Wood Counties, eight in Portage, and one in Langlade.

Students at Northland Lutheran High School say it's just wrong.

"It could be the worst thing, death in the family," says junior Kari Durst. "It could be bad grades. It could be anything that makes you feel so terrible. It's not the end of the world, and you don't even have that right to take your life. God's the only one who has the right to take your life"

"One of the main things is often, there are signs that are there, but they just aren't - nobody sees them," says assistant principal Ryan Wiechmann. "Part of our job is to help them see the signs."

And those signs include a noticeable personality change, an unusual neglect of personal appearance, drug and alcohol use, and a withdrawal from friends and family. And always take what somebody says seriously. It's better to be safe than sorry. Also, be sure to be a good listener and just be there for them. Whatever that takes, the important thing is to make the effort.

Experts say a bad economy may be the main reason for the increased suicide rate.


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