OREGON: The Connection between Eviction and Suicide

May 10, 2019
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  Oregon

KGW8

Public health efforts are helping to address the link between eviction and suicide in Washington County, Oregon. According to county data, eviction was a risk factor for more than 100 suicide deaths between 2014 and 2018. To address that risk, the county public health program worked with the sheriff’s office to have crisis line information added to eviction notices. The Washington County Mental Health Response Team also began accompanying officers when serving evictions to people in crisis. Since those interventions began, the number of people dying by suicide with eviction as a risk factor has decreased by 25 percent each year. However, eviction is just one of many risk factors for suicide, cautioned Kimberly Repp, supervisor of the county public health program. “It’s an oversimplification to suggest that one risk would cause one to end their life,” she said. “It’s a lifetime culmination of experiences that lead there.”

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