Pima County Health Department: A growing concern in suicide cases.

Updated: Dec. 12, 2020 at 5:24 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As coronavirus cases continue to climb in Arizona and Pima County, so does the mental health crisis.

Pima County Health Department released a report regarding suicide cases county-wide. In the report, the department highlighted there has been two spikes in suicide among two different age groups.

People young and old in Pima County are finding it harder to stay positive during the pandemic. “If you don’t have your basic needs met, it’s much more difficult to focus on your mental health,” said Lisa Cole, an Advocate with NAMI of Southern Arizona.

There was a 67% increase in suicides among minors ages 12 to 17 years-old. And there was a 57% increase in suicide in adults ages 50 to 59.

Cole tells KOLD News 13, that crisis calls to their hotline have also spiked since August, according to the county.

“One day we can get 4 or 5 calls and the next day 10, 12, 15 calls,” he said.

As of last month, there were 204 confirmed cases of suicide in Pima County compared to a total of 253 cases in 2019. Experts said factors behind the rise include anxiety, depression, economic stress and uncertainty about the future due to COVID-19.

Like in the case of Daniela Yecas, who tested positive for the virus on Thanksgiving Day. She said since the pandemic begin, she’s had to face her own mental health struggles.

“It’s understandable that all of these things come into our heads,” she said.

However, one thing that keeps her going is holding on to her faith. She emphasizes that conversations surrounding suicide awareness should be normalized.

“To not let it affect us in the future and more kids in the future,” said Yescas.

If you or someone you may know is in need of help, you can call NAMI of Southern Arizona. Or visit NAMI’s website for resources available to the community.

If in crisis, people can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.