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Woodlands board member expresses concern over rising suicide rate

December 6, 2018

Almost 11 months after issue of the rising number of suicides in The Woodlands was highlighted by The Woodlands Board of Directors Member Ann Snyder, the issue resurfaced on Wednesday, Dec. 5, when fellow board Member John McMullan expressed new concerns over the continued increase in suicides and attempted suicides reported in the township.

During the Wednesday meeting, the seven-member township board was set to receive its monthly law enforcement report, which lists among other statistics the number of attempted suicides and suicides in the township on a monthly basis. McMullan asked that the report — which is normally part of the township’s consent agenda — be removed from that portion of the agenda so the topic could be discussed by directors.

According to the report, which is prepared by officials with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office who are based in The Woodlands, there have been a total of 99 suicides or attempted suicides in The Woodlands from January through October of 2018. In the most recent report, 17 suicides or attempted suicides were reported in the month of October alone, along with eight in July, nine in August and six in September.

Compared to the first 10 months of 2017, when there were only 60 suicides and attempted suicides reported, the township saw an increase of 65 percent in the statistics for the first 10 months of 2018.

“The reason I pulled this (from the consent agenda) is because of the number of suicides or attempted suicides, which is from my perspective quite high,” McMullan said.

McMullan also asked if the rate was higher only in The Woodlands or other parts of the region, including Montgomery County. There was no sheriff’s office representative present at the meeting to answer any of McMullan’s questions, so he requested that township officials conduct some sort of study of the issue and for it to be placed on a meeting agenda in January.

“I’d like to ask that we receive a briefing in January on why this is so high and if it is normal,” McMullan said.

The board is scheduled to meeting again on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019.

jeff.forward@chron.com

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