I don't know about the latter reason but the former could be helped by our having a few more employers in the area. Heck, we'd even be ecstatic if we could just keep the ones we've got.
Reasons for high suicide rates remain elusive
Zack Fox, Bristol Herald-Courier Reporter
BRISTOL, Va. – Five Southwest Virginia counties posted the top suicide rates for the state in a four-year period – double the state average.
The state rankings use figures from 1999 through 2002, with Buchanan County having the highest suicide rate of 25 per 100,000 people, more than double the state average of 11, according to the Virginia Health Department.
Scott, Russell, Wise and Lee counties rounded out the top five, all with suicide rates exceeding 21 per 100,000.
Reasons for the high rates remain elusive, but [Bill] Russell believes rural counties suffer the highest suicide rates because of a combination of poor economic conditions and a culture that discourages talking about suicide. (link)
Knowing this, and to alleviate the worsening problem of despair and the complete abandonment of hope, our elected leadership focuses on ... hiking trails and bike paths.
Our trails of tears.