'Encouragement to live:' Local leaders highlight support, resources after suicide spike in Milwaukee County

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Milwaukee City leaders are coming together on World Suicide Prevention Day to help save lives.

According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, there was a 300 percent increase in suicides in August.

Experts believe there are several contributing factors including stress and isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice.

"We want to provide someone with that encouragement to live," Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention Community Outreach Specialist Vaynesia Kendrick said.

Kendrick said it is important for people to have a support system and talk about how they are feeling.

"We definitely want to make sure that if someone is in need take what they’re saying seriously, we have to move away from the stigma around the subject, we have to talk about it," Kendrick said. "So our main thing is promoting the conversation and also spreading that encouragement, spreading that love and compassion within Milwaukee County, statewide and nationwide."

According to the CDC, there is a suicide death around the world every 40 seconds. 

If you need someone to reach out to, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7. It is free and confidential: 1-800-273-8255.

Milwaukee County also has a 24/7 helpline: 414-257-7222.

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