Fred Snyder

We hear so much about the opioid crisis, but there is another epidemic that is claiming the lives of thousands of Americans as well. On average, one person dies of suicide in Pennsylvania every four hours. One suicide occurs in the United States every 12 minutes. Suicide claims the lives of 123 Americans every day: nearly 22 are veterans. At least 1,700 people attempt suicide every day, and suicide claims the lives of nearly 45,000 Americans every year. No communities are immune including ours. I spoke recently with Jayne Wildasin about suicide in Adams and York counties. Jayne is the manager of Crisis Intervention at True North Wellness Services in York-Adams County. A few years ago males 18 to 45 years old were considered at the highest risk, but now males 40 to 65 are considered the highest risk. She says contributing factors seem to be culture and men seem less likely to talk about issues and a more likely to just act on impulse. She says people act both impulsively while others think it over in their minds for weeks deciding the best way to kill themselves.

Jayne says bullying plays a major role in suicide deaths in children from late elementary to early high school age children. She says bullying is probably one of the main reasons why a child will commit suicide. She says often times schools have a zero tolerance policy for bullying, yet do nothing about it. She added technology has compounded the issue of bullying. She says a child may be bullied in school, and then are bullied on social media. There just appears to be no break for some.

Fred Snyder is a Gettysburg Times columnist. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper. Contact Fred at or 717-334-1131, ext. 2850. “Around Town” is published in the Gettysburg Times every Tuesday.

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