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Kansas To Share Suicide, Homicide Data with CDC

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has received a federal grant of almost $1 million to help the CDC develop strategies to reduce the number of violent deaths. As Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson explains, the state will share homicide and suicide data with the National Violent Death Reporting System for five years.

The system delves into not just how these deaths happen, but why. It collects data on homicides such as the relationship between the victim and the suspect. In cases of suicide, it gathers details on depression, financial stress, and relationship problems. Lori Haskett, who’s in charge of injury prevention at KDHE, says there were more than twice as many suicides as homicides in Kansas in 2010.

“Suicide is a much larger issue, and when there is one suicide, it affects many more people than that one person—many family and friends, and so if we can prevent some of the suicides it can absolutely make a difference in Kansas, I think,” she says.

There were more than 400 suicides in Kansas in 2010. Haskett says the suicide rate is four times greater among Kansas men than women. In fact, one of every 10 deaths among Kansas males younger than 45 is due to suicide.