Knox County Mayor: Recent suicide rate ‘shocking’

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Glenn Jacobs questions whether current COVID-19 restrictions is 'right approach'

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knox County Regional Forensic Center examined nine suspected suicides just in the last 48 hours, eight from Knox County, according to Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs.

He talked about the spike suicides during the taping of his weekly Friday Update.

We have to determine how we can respond to COVID-19 in a way that keeps our economy intact, keeps people employed and empowers them with a feeling of hope and optimism – not desperation and despair.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs

These examinations equate to roughly 10% of last year’s total within Knox County, according to a news release from the mayor. In 2019, the medical examiner performed autopsies for 199 confirmed or suspected suicides from across the region with 83 coming specifically from Knox County, the release said.

“That number is completely shocking and makes me wonder if what we are doing now is really the best approach,” Jacobs said. “We have to determine how we can respond to COVID-19 in a way that keeps our economy intact, keeps people employed and empowers them with a feeling of hope and optimism – not desperation and despair.”

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