FLORIDA: Florida Keys Cope with Suicide Spike after Hurricane Irma

August 17, 2018
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  Florida

WLRN

Following Hurricane Irma, the Florida Keys have seen an increase in suicide rates. While the region had a higher than average suicide rate before the storm hit last September, it appears to have doubled in the months since. By July of this year, there were 20 suicide deaths in the Keys, on track to double the previous five-year average of 21. According to Summer DeBastiani, an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Miami, many residents are still struggling to recover their homes or businesses, which has affected their mental health. She encourages residents to reach out to one another for support, and ask for help instead of trying to go it alone. "Anything we can do as a community to try and help alleviate that stress, especially now, post-Irma, I think would be very helpful," she said.

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