CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) -- Suicide claims more lives in Missouri than homicides and DWI accidents combined.
The Southeast Missourian reports that data released Thursday by the American Association of Suicidology shows Missouri had a suicide rate of 15.9 per 100,000 people in 2012. This ranks the state 18th in the nation and higher than the national average of 13 suicides per 100,000 people.
And the numbers are climbing. Data from the Missouri Institute of Mental Health show a steady increase in suicide rates since 2000, nationally and statewide.
Licensed professional counselor Michael Hester says having a conversation about the reality of having suicidal thoughts can lead to help. It also is a signal to distressed people that someone cares.