NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (May 16, 2022) – Empower Tusc is forming a new committee to lead suicide prevention efforts in Tuscarawas County.
Coordinator Jodi Salvo says recent data released by the Ohio Department of Health indicates the suicide completion rate for the county has surpassed the state average.
“It tells me that we have some work that we need to do here in Tuscarawas County. Anytime I see rates for Tuscarawas County higher than the state average, that’s time for us to really dig in and see what we can do on our end.”
Tuscarawas County has a suicide completion rate of 16.6 per hundred-thousand residents compared to 13.8 for the state. Salvo thinks the county’s higher rate may be due to the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
“And I think especially when you get into rural communities, there might be like this attitude that if we’re stronger, if we’re better we don’t need to seek help, and you know it’s just not true, especially coming out of a pandemic. I think there’s been a lot of pressure and stress placed on families from all different areas.”
The Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition became Empower Tusc earlier this year after expanding its focus to include mental health issues and agreeing to head up the county’s suicide prevention efforts, which were previously under the umbrella of the local ADAMHS board. Salvo says anyone interested in serving on the committee can reach them through Facebook and the contact form at empower-tusc.com or by calling 330-440-7319.