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Suicide in Virginia at a 10-year high

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ETTRICK, VA (WTVR) -  The number of people choosing to take their own life is at a 10-year high.

According to the most recent data from the Virginia Department of Health, 960 people committed suicide in 2009. That’s up from 812 in 1999.

State health officials are concerned.

Christina Benton, Suicide Prevention Manager, said they’re not sure why this increase is occurring because “there are a number of reasons why people choose to commit suicide.”

Benton said suicide is not only prevalent amongst those over 65 years of age, but, it’s the third leading cause of death for youngsters.

Benton said that they’re also noticing a shift in the age group of people committing suicide. It’s not just common among youngsters and the elderly, but, the state is seeing a spike in people between the ages of 40 and 55.

While there isn’t one cause of suicide, there are common warning signs including depression and withdrawal.

Benton said the state has many resources for people who need help in any area and suicide is never the best option.

A few resources can be found at or by calling, 1-800-273-TALK.