More than 7,000 North Carolinians died by suicide between 2015 and 2019, according to data recently released by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

During that period, the state’s suicide rate was 15.6 per every 100,000 residents. That’s more than double the homicide rate in the state over that time.

“We put so much emphasis on the larger shootings and violent episodes in our country, on homicide and what’s going on that way,” said Peg Morrison, assistant executive director for NAMI North Carolina. “But the vast majority of gun deaths are deaths by suicide, and they’re highly preventable.”

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