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Fewer suicides in Greater New Bedford to date

Deaths by suicide in the Greater New Bedford area have decreased slightly to date in 2021 and are the lowest in the five years that data has been collected for the region, according to Rev. David Lima, chair of the Greater New Bedford Suicide Prevention Coalition.

There have been 8 suicides to date in the area that includes New Bedford and all abutting towns, down from 13 this time last year, Rev. Lima said. Suicides within Bristol County are also down, with 35 in 2021 to date, down from 49 at this time last year.

Local caregivers say they are not clear why the numbers have decreased, but hope the trend continues.

In a Help & Hope Southcoast meeting on Tuesday with representatives from Greater New Bedford Suicide Prevention Coalition, Child & Family Services, Coastline, Samaritans Southcoast, New Bedford Public Schools, the Shannon Project, and others, most agreed that they are seeing more people reaching out for help with mental health and addiction services, not fewer.

Locally, if you or someone you love needs help, two options are the Crisis Center at Child & Family Services at 508-996-3154 or Samaritans Southcoast at 1-866-508-HELP (4357) from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for the 24-hour hotline.

Or see a list of additional resources here.

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