WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) – It seems like we too often hear about suicides and homicides and in Illinois, they’re the second and third leading causes of death among teens and young adults.
The Winnebago County Health Department is looking at the statistics closely and trying to identify risk factors to possibly prevent suicides and homicides. They looked at figures from 1968 through 2010.
These are just a few of the highlights dealing with homicides in Winnebago County. Black males between 15 and 24 years old are more than six times more likely to become a victim of homicide, compared to the national average.
The number of homicides increased from 2006 to 2010 and the number of them involving guns is also on the rise. When it comes to suicides, the average rate in the county is higher than the state average. White men between ages 34 and 44 are more likely to take their own lives. More suicides in the area involve drug overdose and hanging.
CONTACT of Northern Illinois is the only 24-hour-helpline in the area and is encouraging anyone dealing with a crisis to call.
“Contact can help defuse situations, we’re there any time of the day to talk to somebody in need. We make referrals to other agencies to help with a situation that might be going on in a family,” said Pam Werntz, Executive Director of CONTACT of N. Illinois.
You can call the 24-hour helpline at 815-233-4357.
The health department is hoping this study will bring some of the trends to light and prompt even more investigating that way they can identify risk factors and maybe come up with intervention strategies.