VDRS Graph

Following a significant drop in 2019, Idaho saw its highest recorded suicide rate in 2020, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Violent Death Reporting System (VDRS).

The agency’s preliminary data, published on March 1, reveals that the state’s 362 deaths attributed to suicide in 2019 increased to 420 in 2020, a 16% year-over-year jump. It’s unclear how or whether the COVID-19 pandemic played into that trend.

Idaho received some positive news at the start of the pandemic last spring. According to the CDC, the state’s suicide rate fell about 15% between 2018 and 2019—the largest drop in the U.S. during that time—from 23.9 individuals per 100,000 in 2018 to 20.4 individuals in 2019.

The suicide rate in Idaho, along with several other Rocky Mountain states, is consistently higher than the national average.

Anyone needing help can contact the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 208-398-4357 (HELP). For The Crisis Hotline, based in the Wood River Valley, dial 208-788-3596. The Crisis Hotline also provides free, confidential bilingual support at 208-578-4114.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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