GEORGETOWN — A balloon with 49 sets of angel wings tied to its string floated near the south steps of the Williamson County courthouse last Tuesday.
That’s the number of suicides in the county last year.
Knowing the signs of suicide and asking for help are important steps in preventing suicide, Pct. 1 Commissioner Lisa Birkman said.
“In the last couple of years, we’ve had more of an emphasis on suicide prevention,” she said.
Statistics particular to Williamson County were not easy to obtain quickly, Birkman said, mainly because of dealing with multiple jurisdictions and delays in state reporting. So county staff began researching and compiling numbers from various jurisdictions and county justices of the peace.
“When we started incidentally hearing of suicides, we started getting the numbers,” Birkman said. “To me, the fact that we had 49 in the last year, it just seems incredible to me. That seems like so many.”
Round Rock resident Jeff Curley, who lost his son to suicide in 2010 wants to see a change in that trend.
“Last year when we did this, there were 39 people,” Curley said. “This year there are 49, so it’s increased by 25 percent. I don’t want to be here next year and have 59 of these.”
Help is available through the Crisis Hotline at (800) 841-1255.