Suicide rates in Harford County; Tell, call, speak out

Kensington Boyanich, Reporter

 “Of Maryland’s 24 counties, Harford County has the seventh highest suicide completion rate, 11.4%, well above the state average” according to Harford Mental Health. This site also states that someone dies every 12.3 minutes from suicide. 

     Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States according to the CDC. Harford County MD has a section on its website that has suicide risk factors and warnings listing some as, having symptoms or a diagnosis of a mental health disorder, drug or alcohol use, and history of trauma along with a few others. It is important to realize that just because someone may have these risk factors it doesn’t always mean that they are thinking about suicide.

     The website also lists some warning signs and red flags. These include changes in appearance, a drop in grades, a recent breakup, and many more important life changes and substance abuse. If you believe someone is having suicidal thoughts or has a plan, the best thing to do is express your concern for them, listen to them, and be compassionate. In the situation of a minor, you should contact a trusted adult to help them. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or have considered taking your own life it is important to reach out to someone you trust for support or contact your local crisis center.

     Sophomore Ian Calhoun said he has had struggles with sexuality and mental health issues.  “I accepted myself as I realized I liked boys the way other guys liked girls. I wouldn’t have been able to get there without my friends supporting me through my journey.”  

     Calhoun added, “sometimes what people say and think gets to me and when something big happens that’s negative, I get stressed and don’t feel right.”

     The website for, Harford County MD, has a section for teens and multiple resources regarding bullying, mental health, body perception, and many more resources that can help with growing up.

     There are also many hotline numbers that are available 24/7 and you can call if you are having a crisis or need someone to talk too. The National Suicide Hotline is avalible at 800-273-8255. There is also a hotline specifically designed for teens available 24/7 at 877-968-8491.