Interview Re Suicide Prevention with WTAM 1100 am NewsRadio
In response to my Press Release of 5/13/19 Re 50 Years of Yoga Practice, I was interviewed about Yoga for Healing Suicide

June 11th 2019 - On May 13, 2019 I sent out a Press Release Entitled "Michelle Star Announces 50 Years of Yoga Practice." (See under "Press Release" in this website). WTAM 1100 am NewsRadio interviewed me regarding an article they were presenting on the increase in suicide rate for Ohio. Cuyahoga County proves to be the highest in the state. In my press release I mentioned using Yoga to heal after attempting suicide in 1970. You can view the WTAM article here: or read a copy of it here:

Athens) - According to a new study released by The Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health, the number of suicides committed in the state rose by 24% over a ten year period. The highest number of fatalities were in Cuyahoga (1,461) and Franklin (1,408) counties.

The data also revealed a troubling reality unfolding across Appalachian Ohio, which is home to nine of Ohio's 10 counties with the highest suicide rates per 100,000 population over the past 10 years. Meigs County experienced the highest suicide rate in the state at 21.5 followed by Jackson County (19.9) and Hocking County (19.7).

Although the highest suicide rates were experienced in Ohio's Appalachian region during the 10-year period that was studied, it is important to note that both rural and suburban areas experienced the greatest increase in the rate of suicides per 100,000 population.

The Alliance study reveals that suicide is increasingly comprised of individuals both young and old, with suicide rates rising more than 36 percent for those ages 20 to 29 and approximately 57 percent for those aged 60 or older between January 2008 and December 2017.

Such trends are disturbing to mental health organizations across Ohio, including the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Tracy Plouck of the Alliance, said that 526,501 years of life expectancy was lost in Ohio between 2008-2017 due to suicide. She told Newsradio WTAM 1100, that this sobering figure is largely attributed to the increase in suicide rates of individuals 29 years of age and younger. Suicide being the second-leading cause of death for individuals ages 10-24.

"The Alliance's research indicates that the suicide rate within our state's younger population (29 and younger) has increased by 33 percent since 2008," Plouck told Newsradio WTAM 1100. "Our ultimate hope is that this study will help to inform state- and community-level discussions surrounding how the risk of suicide can be reduced in Ohio and beyond."

Meanwhile, a Cleveland suicide survivor says she was able to help herself and others through the practice of yoga.

Seventy-two year old Michelle Star says she attempted to end her life in 1970 after suffering years of abuse from an alcoholic family. The failed attempt led her to become a yoga instructor with 50 years of practice.

Star has authored a book on yoga and has conducted classes throughout our 5 state region for 35 years, and at the Cleveland Clinic. She tells Newsradio WTAM 1100 that yoga saved her life, and believes it can help others dealing with suicidal thoughts.

Additional key data points within The Alliance's study include:

* The lowest suicide rates per 100,000 population in the state were reported in Holmes County (6.85), Delaware County (9.87) and Hardin County (10.29).

* Men accounted for an average suicide rate over the 10 years of 21.4 deaths per 100,000 compared to a rate of 5.36 for women.

* Suicide rates for Caucasians were higher (14.6) than African Americans (7.37).

* Between 2008 and 2017, 161 suicides occurred among those 14 years of age or younger. Senior citizens experienced the highest suicide rate increase by age cohort, climbing from 12.4 deaths per 100,000 in 2008 to 19.5 in 2017 a 57 percent increase.

* The data show 3,459 people were 60 or older when they died by suicide and nearly 70 percent of those over age 60 used a firearm.

* Firearms accounted for 50.9 percent of all suicide fatalities for the 10-year period, followed by "other" (33.3 percent) and "self-poisoning (overdose)" (15.8 percent).

* "Other" causes of suicidal death included, but were not limited to, cuts or pierces, drowning, falls, machinery and motor vehicle traffic.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, warning signs may include threats or comments about suicide, increased alcohol and drug use, aggressive behavior, social withdrawal, dramatic mood swings, talking, writing or thinking about death and impulsive or reckless behavior.

If you or someone you know are having thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The Alliance is a collaborative effort created by Ohio University's College of Health Sciences and Professions and the University of Toledo's College of Health and Human Services and now includes 28 partner organizations.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM & Michelle Star)

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Contact Member:
Michelle Star Yoga & Healing Arts, LLC

Cleveland, OH 44135
United States
Michelle Star, CYT, IYT, Author Ken Robinson, WTAM 1100 am NewsRadio