Suicide in National Parks on the Rise

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

Last year 33 people chose to take their own lives in National Parks.
An alarming number that's up from the previous year and locally we're seeing the same trend.

Construction crews lifted a car out of Red canyon last year. The driver used the long steep drop to complete suicide. In 2008, 33 people ended their lives in parks like these. According to the national parks service 26 people attempted suicide at the Colorado National Monument last year, two of those attempts were fatal.

Abby Landmeier with the Western Colorado Suicide Prevention Foundation says there's cause for concern. Mesa County's suicide rate is double the national average. "There is a lot of things that we think could be attributed to why people are completing suicide especially in our region," says Landmeier.

Nationally 11 people in every 100,000 complete suicide. Mesa County's rate is around 20 to every 100,000.
Landmeier says, "Half of the total of completed suicides in Mesa County are from the construction industry." That includes the oil and gas industry. Landmeier says, "It's also a stressful work environment it's a lot of manual labor it's a lot of things you really have to pay attention to and be mentally fit for."

Landmeier says the Suicide Foundation recently started to work with Colorado Monument Park Rangers along with other community organizations on how to deal with a suicidal person, hoping to keep those in need safe and on the ground.

Anyone who is considering suicide or has a friend or family member in need can call 1–800–273–talk for more information.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by DC Location: Grand Junction on Jan 2, 2009 at 09:29 PM
    "According to the national parks service 26 people attempted suicide at the Colorado National Monument last year, two of those attempts were fatal." That's not really a very good 'success' rate (if completion of the task is called success...). 'Attempted' means they actually tried, right? There are quite a few high cliffs in the park. If you wanted to do it, it would not be hard I would think. So why the low fatality rate? Something seems off.
KKCO NBC 11 News
2531 Blichmann Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81505

Station Phone: 970.243.1111
Business Fax: 970.243.1770
Newsroom Fax: 970.245.3793
News Tip & Contest Line: 970.255.8477
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 37023164 - nbc11news.com/a?a=37023164
Gray Television, Inc.