MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (TNS/WMOT) -- Tennessee’s suicide rate appears to be holding steady, but at an alarmingly high level.
The latest statistics show Tennessee suffers about a thousand suicides each year.
White males ages 45 to 60 account for the largest number of suicide deaths in the state. Scott Ridgway with the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network says that's partly because of male culture.
"Men sometimes do not reach for help, do not seek counseling, and so if we could just educate that age group to try to seek some help when they're struggling, that we would see that number probably decrease."
Ridgway says the key to reducing suicides is education and awareness, such as being able to recognize the warning signs.
"Folks that may have verbally expressed that they're thinking about suicide, they wish they were dead. Physical changes within their appearance, their behavior, their eating habits. They show less interest with activities that they may be involved with."
According to the Tennessee Partnership on Suicide Prevention, there were 956 suicides in the state in 2012. Gun shot is by far the most common suicide method, followed by poisoning and suffocation.