suicide prevention

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

St. Tammany Parish has one of the highest rates of suicide in the state. It’s a problem that advocates are trying to solve and officials are trying to understand.

St. Tammany Outreach for the Prevention of Suicide, or STOPS, is determined to get the community talking about this problem, and to help those impacted. The 46 suicides in St Tammany Parish last year was a new record. But it’s an old problem. Parish resident Ricky Bryant is part of a long list that stretches back a few decades.

In the past three years combined, St. Tammany Parish has had 13 homicides. During that same period of time, more than 100 residents committed suicide. Rebecca Thees with Volunteers of America has been on the front line of the parish’s efforts to curb this growing crisis.