Editorial: A recipe for disaster
What do you get when you mix a gun with a suicidal person or powerful pain killers in a house with teens?
In the words of the Yavapai County medical examiner Mark Fischione, M.D., you get a recipe for disaster.
The topic of today’s front page story is the high suicide rate in Yavapai County. In fact, the county is, per capita, No. 1 in the state for suicides.
That’s a terrible list to be at the top of.
In Fischione’s opinion, the biggest factor is the economy. Not being able to afford a home or food can fan someone’s depression into thoughts of suicide.
Yavapai County has a drug problem, too. Availability of pain killers, along with depression, adds up to a possible suicide attempt. Toss in the high rate of heroin addiction in this area and overdoses spike. The examiner called methamphetamine “king” in this county.
So how do you stop suicide attempts?
It starts early, before addictions take hold or depression is left untreated. It starts in the classroom and it starts in the home.
More suicide prevention and anti-drug programs are needed at the elementary and middle school levels. Parents and teachers need to recognize signs of depression in children and do something about it.
Vigilance and counseling aren’t going to save everyone with suicide on their mind, but they can help ease the number of attempts and deaths.
Keeping guns from someone you suspect has some mental health issues is the wisest thing you can do – as well as seeking help for them.
Kudos to the new state law that provides for a mental health indicator in a background check to purchase a weapon.
As a community, everyone can help remove Yavapai County from the top of that undesired list.