TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Through the restoration and reopening portion of Florida’s COVID-19 pandemic response, a specific significance for reopening was positioned on the position it could have in serving to to scale back the variety of suicides throughout the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Suicide Prevention Declaration final 12 months referred to a “regarding upward drift of suicide deaths over the previous decade, particularly now as a result of projected psychological well being impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida.” Nonetheless, state knowledge exhibits the true fee of suicides in Florida truly dropped by simply over 9% from 2019 to 2020.

At an occasion in St. Petersburg in early 2021, the governor and his political allies within the Florida Legislature once more referred to dangers of suicide rising in the course of the ongoing pandemic. Through the occasion, DeSantis signed an government order that successfully ended all native COVID restrictions.

In reality, Florida noticed a larger lower in suicide charges than the nationwide common, which got here in at 6%, in keeping with preliminary numbers from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention reported on by the Related Press. The nationwide development confirmed the most important annual decline of suicides throughout the U.S. in 40 years.

Reopening Florida helped companies in want, however the potential danger of elevated suicides from the pandemic ended up an unfounded concern, not less than in the case of the numbers.

Right here’s a take a look at the numbers in Florida and Tampa Bay to see how the suicide fee modified throughout the state in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The numbers of suicides proven under are categorized as “all ages,” slightly than splitting them by age group for every county.

County Variety of Suicides in 2019 Variety of Suicides in 2020
Alachua 31 33
Baker 5 4
Bay 35 41
Bradford 6 6
Brevard 137 117
Broward 241 222
Calhoun 1 1
Charlotte 50 37
Citrus 46 38
Clay 43 29
Collier 45 60
Columbia 20 16
DeSoto 5 3
Dixie 4 5
Duval 177 158
Escambia 53 66
Flagler 25 25
Franklin 3 0
Gadsden 12 5
Gilchrist 4 5
Glades 4 2
Gulf 7 4
Hamilton 3 5
Hardee 4 2
Hendry 9 5
Hernando 43 36
Highlands 27 22
Hillsborough 216 187
Holmes 2 7
Indian River 29 31
Jackson 5 12
Jefferson 4 4
Lafayette 0 0
Lake 78 72
Lee 124 130
Leon 33 41
Levy 3 6
Liberty 1 1
Madison 6 3
Manatee 76 67
Marion 79 85
Martin 32 29
Miami-Dade 268 215
Monroe 22 25
Nassau 17 20
Okaloosa 37 40
Okeechobee 8 6
Orange 140 132
Osceola 52 37
Palm Seashore 229 171
Pasco 119 103
Pinellas 189 175
Polk 129 94
Putnam 12 22
Santa Rosa 35 48
Sarasota 86 78
Seminole 53 60
St. Johns 53 46
St. Lucie 47 40
Sumter 35 16
Suwanee 12 10
Taylor 2 4
Union 1 5
Volusia 128 118
Wakulla 4 5
Walton 14 9
Washington 4 5
State Whole: 3,427 3,113
(Knowledge Supply: Florida Division of Well being)

Florida noticed 314 fewer suicides throughout 2020. In Tampa Bay, right here’s how that broke down county by county:

County Variety of Suicides in 2019 Variety of Suicides in 2020
Citrus 46 38
Hardee 4 2
Hernando 43 36
Highlands 27 22
Hillsborough 216 187
Manatee 76 67
Pasco 119 103
Pinellas 189 175
Polk 129 94
Sarasota 86 78
(Knowledge Supply: Florida Division of Well being)

Whereas each county in Tampa Bay noticed the suicide fee drop, not each county in Florida mirrored the statewide development.

Bay, Collier, Dixie, Escambia, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Holmes, Indian River, Jackson, Lee, Leon, Levy, Marion, Monroe, Nassau, Okaloosa, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Seminole, Taylor, Union, Wakulla and Washington counties all noticed will increase in suicides in the course of the pandemic.

As Florida continues to reopen and vaccinations proceed, it stays to be seen if the suicide charges will proceed to fall or in the event that they’ll rise once more because the state returns to regular.

Should you or somebody you like is battling despair or ideas of suicide, assistance is all the time out there by calling the Disaster Heart of Tampa Bay at 211 or the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).



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