If you or someone close to you is contemplating suicide, there are people you can call for non-judgmental help. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1.800.273.8255.
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. It affects people of all ages, genders, races, ethnicities and sexual orientations. According to the United Health Foundation, more than 42,000 Americans killed themselves in 2014.
Just this month, the medical examiner in Detroit ruled that Chris Cornell, singer of the group Soundgarden committed suicide in a hotel, just hours after performing at the Ford Theater.
Rep. John Kivela killed himself hours after being arrested for drunk driving.
On the May 20 edition of "Current State" we talked with Kelly Schwartkopf, staff coordinator at The Listening Ear. The agency operates at 24 hour crisis line. It also has trained counselors available to talk to people contemplating suicide. The number is 517.337.1717.
Schwartkopf addressed the signs that a person may be thinking of killing themselves.
She also addressed the changes the organization has made since a January 2016 newspaper investigation found sex offenders had volunteered at the Listening Ear.
Schwartkopf said they are looking for new volunteers, who must go through stringent training and two background checks. There are orientation dates coming up in late June and training in July.
For information on volunteer opportunities, call 517.337.1717.