Suicide numbers, prevention awareness on the rise in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – It’s the second leading cause of death in the first half of people’s lives: suicide.

Prevent Suicide PA says there were recently 9 suicides in 10 days in York County. The non-profit said the numbers have been on the rise the past decade and continue to rise.

In an effort to prevent further cases, an annual conference was held in Harrisburg on Monday to prevent further lives from being taken.

One important figure there was Earl Granville.

You may have seen video of him cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon, carrying an American flag.

He spent time in the military, resulting in the loss of a leg.

“On my third deployment, I was in Afghanistan and I lost my leg to a roadside bomb. Two and a half years later, my twin brother staff Sgt. Granville took his own life. Losing my leg was easy, to be honest with you, compared to losing my brother,” Granville said.

Granville became so depressed he considered taking his own life. Instead, he told a close friend about how he felt and was convinced to keep fighting for his life.

“It was weird because waking up the next day I was like, ‘man what the hell was i about to do? That was stupid,’” Granville said.

Now, he spends his life encouraging others to choose life by speaking at events like the one held in Harrisburg.

Prevent Suicide PA says York County is one of the counties with the highest suicides per capita in the state.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or know someone else struggling, the most important thing you can do is speak up. Experts say the person you approach about being depressed will likely say “I’m fine” so you have to tell them why you’re worried and be prepared to listen. It’s important to be prepared to listen because sometimes people try to solve problems when all the person struggling really needs is someone to listen and be supportive.

Granville’s advice is to find your passion.

“You could have your purpose, you wake up to put food on your table, raise your family. But getting that passion, what do you wake up for, that is for yourself, what are you doing for yourself, find that passion and run with it,” he said.

If you’re having suicidal thoughts or want to know how to help someone who might be, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the crisis text line at 741-741.

Every county also has a resource where you can talk to someone in person. They might even be able to drive out to your house to help you.

For online resources in preventing adult suicide, visit preventsuicidepa.org.

For resources to prevent youth suicide, go to payspi.org.

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