Mower’s suicide rate well above state average

Published 2:40 pm Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Minnesota’s suicide rate hit the highest point in a decade, but it was still lower than Mower County’s, according to health data released last week.

In 2011, there were eight suicides in Mower County — double the number in 2010. Between 2007 and 2011, there were 25 suicides in Mower County for a rate of 17.4 per 100,000 residents — compared to a rate of 12.7 in greater Minnesota.

Across the state, suicides jumped 13 percent in 2011, to 684. That equaled a rate of 12.4 per 100,000 residents and was the highest since the early 1990s, the Minnesota Department of Health said.

The agency said much of the increase came in middle-aged men, and was highest within that group among men 55 to 59.

Youth suicides — those in people under age 25 — increased slightly to 5.7 per 100,000 people.

Of the 25 suicides in Mower County from 2007 to 2011, 22 were age 25 to 64 and three were age 65 or older.

Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said the numbers show the importance of quickly offering help to people who are struggling.

Minnesota’s overall figures were in line with national numbers, and so was the state’s spike among the middle-aged. A report earlier this year from the Centers for Disease Control found a 28 percent jump in suicides among people ages 35 to 64, with some experts attributing it to lingering effects of the national recession.

Minnesota’s 2011 rate was up from 11.2 per 100,000 a year earlier.

Health officials said the state rate is higher in men and higher in the 25-to-64 age group. And they say the suicide rate is greater outside the metropolitan area — about 14 people per 100,000 in Greater Minnesota, compared with about 11 in the seven-county metro.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.