Feature 3 suicides in 25 hours: Cullman’s 2017 total more than 25 | CullmanSense

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3 suicides in 25 hours: Cullman’s 2017 total more than 25

Participants attached photos of lost loved ones to a memorial placard by the Depot Park fountain during Karma in Cullman’s Suicide Awareness Walk in September of this year. / W.C. Mann

Editor's note: This feature is in no way related to the story about the young man, Jackson Lambert, who died in an accidental shooting Monday evening. Lambert's death was not a suicide.

CULLMAN - In one 25-hour span between this past Sunday and Monday afternoons, three deaths took place in Cullman County that were ruled suicides by County Coroner Jeremy L. Kilpatrick.  With two other cases still under investigation but expected to be ruled as intentional, the county’s total number of suicides in 2017 has risen to 27, with two months still to go.  The 12-month total for 2016 was 15.

According to Kilpatrick, who has been in touch with other coroners around north Alabama, this tragic trend is not unique to Cullman County.  He contacted coroners in other counties earlier this year to talk about what was happening around Cullman, and reported hearing from most of them that suicides are on the rise in their counties as well, compared to last year.  In one case, a coroner in a neighboring county had to respond to 12 incidents in a single week.  Authorities, from law enforcement to mental health, are still baffled as to what has caused this year’s spike.

Said Kilpatrick, who is passionate about finding people help, “I don’t know if it’s a failure in our mental health care system, or people just failing to believe in themselves so they can fight these demons, or people not getting help . . . I’m wishing something would happen, these people would start calling suicide helplines.”

For those who may be facing thoughts of self-harm, or who may know someone who is, the following resources are available:

Call:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Local - 256-734-4688 during the day, 256-737-2000 after hours
The Link of Cullman County (for faith-based help) - 256-775-0028
En Español - 1-800-628-9454
Veterans - 1-800-273-8255, press 1
LGBTQ - 1-866-488-7386

Text:

Crisis Text Line - text HELLO or START to 741-741
Deaf or hearing impaired - text to 1-800-273-8255
Veterans - text to 838255

Online:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) - https://afsp.org
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) - http://www.save.org

Longer-term care and counseling in the Cullman area:

Mental Healthcare of Cullman - 256-255-1020, www.mentalhealthcareofcullman.org
Pathways Professional Counseling (faith-based) - 1-866-991-6864, www.pathwaysprofessional.org
New Beginnings Counseling - 256-739-1455, www.newbeginningscullman.com.

These are fee-based services, insurance not required.

Local groups recently active in prevention/awareness activities:

Vinemont Baptist Church -  www.facebook.com/VinemontBaptistLifeline, 256-595-2144
Karma in Cullman Suicide Awareness Support Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1858867447723560/
Karma in Cullman Loved Ones Left Behind from Suicide Support Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/249670515480874/
Karma in Cullman - 256-735-3942

This is an ongoing story.  Look for more in future issues of The Tribune and online at www.CullmanTribune.com.

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