A recent public suicide has police perplexed. A 20 year old transient stabbed himself in front of an audience after singing a song at “Open Mic” night at a local business. Record high numbers of depression and suicides are infiltrating headlines in the local news. News managers find it difficult to determine how much to report suicides and attempts, for fear it might perpetuate the problem. But at some point you have to tell it like it is and not ignore statistics or sweep things under the carpet. Oregon is 35% higher than the rest of the nation for suicides. Knowing that numbers are higher than in the past means there's a strong chance you may know someone who has or is contemplating taking their own life. Randy Myers, a pastor at a local church has about three decades experience in counseling people with all kinds of depression problems he says you can help. "Encouragement is a huge thing obviously encourage those around us and to take those comments about suicide and depression very seriously. And people do need hope they do need the tools to cope with those feelings. Because they are feelings and they can pass but it needs to be addressed very seriously." And here's a reminder regarding what to say or do. Experts say it's actually OK to ask someone who seems depressed just how bad they're feeling and if they've ever considered suicide. It gives you the opportunity to assess the risk factor and to direct them to help. For help for yourself or someone else, you can call toll free: 1 1-800-875-7364.