Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years. Mental health professionals point to many reasons but mainly our society’s unwillingness to accept depression as an illness.
Pictures and memories are the only things Ashley Jacobchicks has left of her father, Dean Leingang.
"I said I’m just scared that I’m going to wake up and I’m not going to have my dad anymore, and unfortunately two days later he took his own life," says Jacobchicks.
According to the world health organization over 90 percent of people who complete suicide had at least one psychiatric illness. Depression and substance abuse were the top two underlying disorders.
"In 2008 he was hit with depression and kind of just spiraled from there. He started drinking, started just not being himself, just changed into a man that we didn't really know who he was anymore," says Jacobchicks.
Medical professionals say one of the main reasons that suicide rates are rising is because of access to mental health care.
"There is an access issue; there aren't enough providers to see the number of people who need help. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, globally," says Dr. Mark Doerner, of Sanford Health.
Doerner says because few people want to discuss their mental illness issues, fewer professionals are getting into the mental health field, thinking the need isn't there.