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Suicide mortality rates - Transylvania County and North Carolina

Current Value




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Story Behind the Indicator

The "Story Behind the Curve" helps us understand why the data on mental health and suicide is the way that it is in our community. When we understand the root causes of our community problems, we have a better chance of finding the right solutions, together.

What's Helping?  These are the positive forces at work in our community and beyond that influence this issue.

  • Access to mental health care in the county includes Fresh Start outpatient program at Transylvania Regional Hospital, Meridian / Blue Ridge Health, behavioral health providers at Hendersonville Pediatrics, and private providers. On-site therapists in public schools. Regional resources include RHA for crisis support and VAYA Health for Medicaid managed care and referrals to services.
  • Support groups, including NAMI Connection for people with a mental illness, NAMI Family Support Group, peer support groups for adult children of alcoholics and dysfunctional families and people with adverse childhood experiences. Some support for high-risk youth including LGBTQ.
  • Opportunities for social-emotional learning through The Family Place, GetSet, SmartStart, and Transylvania County Schools. Davidson River School was the first in the nation to be certified as a trauma-informed school and is piloting implementation of DBT Skills in Schools in 2022. Parent/family education and support such as Family Place parent chats and Circle of Security.
  • Trainings on suicide intervention and mental health offered for Transylvania County Schools staff, Brevard Academy parents, Brevard College resident advisors, faith communities, and community members. Some law enforcement officers are CIT certified.
  • TC STRONG youth mental health collaborative starting projects to increase community awareness, reduce stigma, create opportunities for empowerment and connection, and improve access to care and support for school-aged youth. Support for resilience and reducing substance misuse from CARE Coalition.
  • Generally caring and compassionate community. Strong sense of volunteerism and a desire to help. Relationships with students built by counselors, staff, and school resource officers.
  • Natural resources for recreation.

What's Hurting? These are the negative forces at work in our community and beyond that influence this issue.

  • Barriers to needed mental health care services, including costs, lack of insurance coverage, long wait times, limited capacity, lack of transportation, and simply not knowing how to access care. Very limited or delayed crisis response resources and no availability of co-response teams for law enforcement.
  • Social, economic, and environmental factors that increase risk of poor mental health outcomes, such as poverty, unemployment and underemployment, homelessness and housing concerns (including cost and substandard conditions). Lived experiences such as violence, trauma, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
  • Stigma around seeking mental health services and/or denial that services are needed. Social acceptance of behaviors that contribute to poor mental health outcomes, such as drug and alcohol use, violence, or risk-taking behaviors. Reluctance to accept opportunities and services from "outsiders" and a preference to rely on own self and kin network for support.
  • Challenges in recruiting and filling vacancies in healthcare and mental health roles. Dissatisfaction from many community members over HCA ownership of Transylvania Regional Hospital and affiliated medical practices.
  • Underlying factors such as COVID-related social disruption, social media influences, decreased social cohesion and increased divisiveness, and impaired family support.
  • No overall framework to address mental health concerns broadly in the community.


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