MINOT, N.D. — By the time I graduated from high school, my class had seen multiple suicides, including one of my friends.

This summer we celebrated our 20-year reunion. The happiness of the occasion was tempered by a sad accounting of the half dozen or so suicides – some only suspected – among our classmates since graduation.

To put these numbers into context, the national suicide rate in 2017 was about 14 per 100,000 people.

North Dakota’s rate was about 20 per 100,000.

My class is large, by North Dakota standards, but still just over 600 people.

Our suicide rate is in excess of the norm.

I was almost a part of it.

Continue reading…