Suicide: More funding needed for prevention

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By The Most Reverend Robert D. Gruss, Bishop of Rapid City

Imagine coming home to discover that your child, perhaps a 12-year-old daughter or a 16-year-old son, has taken their own life. I can’t imagine such an experience. But too many parents across South Dakota have experienced this tragedy. Many priests and ministers serving in our communities agonize over the number of funerals resulting from suicide.

While it is true that Native American suicide rates in South Dakota are twice as high as the rate for white South Dakotans, it is important to remember that almost 80 percent of all suicide deaths in South Dakota are white. The reality is that South Dakota’s children and young adults (under age 24) of all races end their lives at double the rate of youth nationwide.

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