In Chicago, when we talk about gun violence, we’re usually talking about homicides — shootings, or gang activity. Nationally, that conversation usually centers around school shootings. But in rural Illinois, between 2012 and 2016, gun violence looks much different. More than 80 percent of gun-related deaths in rural Illinois were suicides, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And that’s about 20 points higher than the national average.
Morning Shift talks to Madelyn Beck, reporter for the Illinois Newsroom, who has been reporting on suicides downstate as part of Illinois Newsroom’s gun violence series. We also hear from Doreen Marshall, Vice President of Programs for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has chapters in every state and compiles research and resources on its website is afsp.org. The national suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255. There is also a suicide text line. To access that, text HOME to 741741.
Madelyn Beck, reporter for the Illinois Newsroom