Montana’s Suicide Review Team is the first of its kind in the nation. At the 2014 Montana Conference on Suicide Friday, Dr. Leonard Lantz, adult psychiatrist who chairs the Suicide Review Team, addressed the roadblocks that the Team is running into.
According to the report, one of the biggest barriers is securing consistent and complete reports from county coroners.
For many years, Montana health officials have had difficulties in finding the causes of the state’s high suicide rate. During the past three years, there have been at least 678 suicides in the state.
Now, the Suicide Review Team is mining death certificate for hard data, hoping to identify risk factors and causes of suicide without overwhelming coroners. Some of the causes that were found are: social isolation, easy access to firearms, alcohol abuse, and the stigma associated with receiving mental health care.