The Good Life20 Number of Mecklenburg County teens who died from suicide between 2000 and 2008. 75% of the those were male. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens, both locally and nationally.
Source: Mecklenburg County Health Assessment

86 The number of suicides in Mecklenburg County in 2009. In general, four times as many men die by suicide as women; however, women attempt it two to three times as often as men.
Source: 2010 Mecklenburg County Health Assessment

1 in 10 Number of adults who suffer from depression
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

11.1% of 18- to 24-year-olds suffer from depression
Source: Mecklenburg County Health Assessment


The grade the National Health Alliance on Mental Illness gave North Carolina in 2009 for our mental health system, largely due to a lack of accessibility. The report card cited a lack of education and outreach programs, and not enough outpatient treatment options fo rpeople on Medicaid or Medicare, or the uninsured. The most depressing part? America as a whole got a D, too.

Q&A: Tia Konzer, Presbyterian Psychiatric Associates

Does depression tend to be caused by genetic factors or environmental ones? They’ve found that it can be caused by both of those. There is a genetic inheritance, so if some- one in your family has trouble with it, it’s more likely that someone else in the family will have it. But even people without a family history get depressed. It’s generally a combination of genetic factors and environmental situations. You’ll have a predisposition, and then something will trigger it.

Has the economy affected the amount of patients you see, or their progression? Some of the things that may have been options in the past are not an option now. Some people would consider selling their homes to move closer to family, but you can’t sell your house now. One thing we do see is people who, when we suggest therapy or medication, say they can’t afford it, because they don’t have insurance coverage.

Depressed or Just Down?

Everyone has a humdrum day every now and then, but doctors use time as a depression tip-off. if you’ve had one or more of the fol- lowing symptoms for weeks at a time, it might be time to check in with a doc.

  • Feeling hopeless and pessimistic about the future
  • Self-loathing — you feel guilty or worthless, and out of control
  • Irritability and restlessness that makes concentrating tough
  • Loss of interest in the activities that used to be fun or relaxing (including, but not limited to, sex) Decreased energy and fatigue
  • Changes in sleep — insomnia, oversleeping, or waking up at strange hours
  • Overeating and/or appetite loss; along with that, noticeable weight gain or loss
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Inexplicable aches, headaches, cramps, or even digestive problems that the usual Tums or Midol won’t fix

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

School Sadness

In the past 12 months, 20% of CMS Middle Schoolers and 13.9% of CMS High Schoolers seriously thought about suicide

Source: 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Mecklenburg County Health Department

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