Report: Suicide rates increase 25 percent in Illinois

    Report: Suicide rates increase 25 percent in Illinois (Photo: MGN Online)

    Suicide rates in Illinois are on the rise, according to a new CDC report.

    The report shows suicides in the state increased almost 25 percent.

    In 2016, there were 1,415 suicides reported in Illinois, which is about 50 cases more than in 2015.

    A Springfield woman is doing all she can to educate people about suicide and mental health.

    Her passion to help was kindled after she attempted to end her life 11 years ago.

    "Back in 2007 I had my own event where I attempted suicide," Sammi White said.

    After the attempt, White says she found herself wanting to help others.

    "It actually gave me a purpose in life,” White said.

    White believes the most important thing that anyone dealing with mental health issues needs to do is also one of the hardest things.

    "Somehow reach out to somebody,” White said.

    White said at one point during her own struggle, she took herself to the emergency room and found a way to communicate what was wrong.

    "With my own personal experience where I wasn't able to communicate to my family and friends, so I went to the emergency room,” White said. “I wasn't even able to speak to the nurses, but I wrote it down on a piece of paper and told them what I was feeling and slid it to them and they understood and knew and they got me directly back and I was able to sit down with a nurse in a private area."

    And White said to never be ashamed.

    “I'm not ashamed,” White said. “Everybody has struggles and everybody goes through things. So, nobody should ever be ashamed of having struggles.”

    White said there are several resources available on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website under the ‘Find Support’ tab.

    You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to reach someone at the Crisis Text Line.

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