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Suicide Rates In Kansas Are Going Up Alarmingly Fast

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Suicide rates increased by nearly 45% in Kansas over the past two decades, but those rates rose even more in sparsely populated rural communities. Plus, OBGYNs in Missouri say COVID-19 is causing severe complications and stillbirths in pregnant people.

A new Kansas Health Institute analysis shows that suicide rates climbed in rural and frontier counties by roughly 55% and 60% respectively from 2000-2019, significantly outpacing the increases in mid-sized cities and urban areas. David Condos of the Kansas New Service discusses the growing trend stressing rural communities across Kansas and the nation.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Helpline any time by calling 1-800-273-8255 or texting “HOME” to 741741.

If you would like to talk with someone in Kansas about what you or a loved one are going through, here are some regional resources that can help:

  • Kansas Ag Stress helpline: 800-447-1985
  • High Plains Mental Health Center in Hays: 785-628-2871
  • Compass Behavioral Health in Garden City: 620-276-7689
  • Southwest Guidance Center in Liberal: 620-624-8171
  • Iroquois Center for Human Development in Greensburg: 620-723-2272

Also on today's podcast: Through the summer, Missouri was an early hotspot for the delta variant of COVID-19, leading to more unvaccinated young people getting severely ill. Unfortunately, as more young people got sick, more pregnant people did too. From KBIA, Rebecca Smith reports that many OBGYNs across the state are now worried about severe COVID complications during pregnancy and birth.

Contact the show at news@kcur.org. Follow KCUR on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.

Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and edited by Gabe Rosenberg.

You can support Kansas City Today by becoming a KCUR member: kcur.org/donate

As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table. You can email me at nomin@kcur.org and find me on Twitter @NominUJ.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byron@kcur.org.