The Wyoming Department of Health recently released data for 2022, which showed that the suicide rate in Wyoming has declined for the first time since 2018.
That’s according to a press release from the WDH, which stated that there was a 22% decline in suicides from 2021.
In 2019, 2020, and 2021, the suicide rate in Wyoming grew each year, thanks in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic and the isolation that it caused. In 2022, there were 149 suicides. Even one suicide is one too many, but the fact that the number has dropped nearly 25% from the previous year is encouraging.
Andi Summerville, the Executive Director for the Wyoming Association of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers told Cowboy State Daily that the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number has helped combat suicide in a drastic way.
“In those suicide rates, we’re seeing a flattening of the growth curve,” Sommerville stated. “That’s a huge number. It shows the situation is being mitigated. We hope it’s having that impact.”
Cowboy State Daily reported that Wyoming’s two suicide call centers – the Central Wyoming Counseling Center and Wyoming Lifeline – have fielded more than 10,000 calls since 2020.
Still, Wyoming legislators, during the last legislative session, have chosen not to provide permanent funding for the centers.
The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline now operates 24/7 and is available to any and all residents.
Elsewhere in the WDH release, it was noted that 72% of suicide deaths in Wyoming were from firearms, 22% from hanging, and 4% from poisoning.
Despite the decline in suicide rates, Wyoming still leads the nation in suicide deaths per capita.
For this reason and many others, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, and all of the additional services provided by the Central Wyoming Counseling Center, are vital to Wyoming and its residents.
If you or someone you know is in crisis or is contemplating suicide, you can call 988 or text 307-776-0610.