Rock County reports no youth suicides in 2016

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ROCK COUNTY, Wis. - It’s a statistic worth talking about.

For the first time in years, Rock County officials said no youth suicides were reported last year.

As volunteer director of the Rock County Suicide Prevention Network and Safety Series, Tony Farrell Sr. said the numbers show the community’s hard work has paid off.

“All of the groups working together has made a huge difference in Rock County,” he said.

Farrell credits the efforts at schools and youth groups in Rock County with helping cut the number of youth suicides down from three in 2015. The statistics reported are for children up to 12th grade.

He said the schools and youth groups have put anti-bullying programs in place and have taught students and teachers how to spot the warning signs of suicide.

“I’m very, very proud of Rock County for everyone working together to certainly do everything they can to stop the tragedies from happening,” Farrell said.

He also recognized the Rock County Communications Center for helping coordinate quick response times for emergency personnel to save people who attempted suicide.

But the work is far from over.

Farrell said there were 25 adult suicides in 2016.

“Until we’re at zero for everything, we just keep working,” he said.

As Farrell puts it, “one is one too many” to lose to suicide.

There are several resources available for people who need someone to talk to or who are interested in learning more about how to spot warning signs and prevent suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255, and in Rock County, people can call the crisis line at 608-757-5025.