Stark County officials notice increase in suicide cases

Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 7:06 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - There’s a disturbing increase in Stark County that has leaders paying attention. The sheriff and a human services director said they’re seeing a rise in suicide cases.

Stark County deputies respond to a variety of calls, but one they’re seeing more often is suicide.

Sheriff Corey Lee said it’s concerning and something that hits home.

“As someone that’s been affected by suicide in my private life, throughout my life, and someone that has close ties with depression issues and things like that,” said Sheriff Corey Lee, Stark County.

The sheriff recently shared his concern about the rise in cases on his Facebook page. He said another worry is who is being impacted.

“It’s anywhere from 15 to 85-years-old, it’s just a large demographic that we haven’t seen in the past,” said Lee.

Jessica Odermann is the regional director at Badlands Human Service Center in Dickinson and said she’s also noticed an increase in suicide.

She said societal changes may be contributing to the rise in cases.

“It’s safe to say that the Coronavirus over the last two years is a prolonged disaster, and it’s something that’s really impacting people whether it’s grief and loss, anxiety, depression, isolation,” said Jessica Odermann, Badlands Human Service Center.

Odermann said those suffering are never alone and there are area resources. The center has a 24/7 crisis line at 2-1-1 and users can access a trained specialist for support.

They also have walk-in services.

“Complete some screening, meet with staff here, if they need immediate support crisis intervention or therapy right then and there, we can provide that,” said Odermann.

She said the more we talk about mental health, the less the stigma around it, will stay.

Odermann said if you notice a family member or friend struggling to ask them if they are okay.

For a link to more information on resources you can visit

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