Now Available: Ottawa County Death by Suicide Report 2021

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Alison Clark, Public Information Officer | (616) 494-5597

Ottawa County
Death by Suicide Report 2021

(HOLLAND, MI.) - The Ottawa County Department of Public Health has released the 2021 Death by Suicide Report. Click to view report. 

Key Points of the Report
  • Although the pandemic has been difficult for everyone in Ottawa County, suicide rates in the county have either stabilized or decreased, and do not indicate a correlation between pandemic restrictions and increased suicides.
  • In 2021, there were 33 deaths by suicide; the same number as was reported in 2020.
  • The suicide rate has stabilized over the last eight years. 
  • In 2021, one teen died by suicide, lower than the 10-year average of two to three teen suicides per year.
  • Among teen suicide fatalities, 2021 was the first year since 2013 in which a teen, aged 13-16, did not die by suicide.
  • Eight veterans died by suicide in 2021. This is the highest number of veteran deaths in a single year over the past twelve years. Veterans account for only 6% of the population in Ottawa County, but 24% of all suicides.
  • Ottawa County suicide rates are consistently lower than the State of Michigan and the United States.

Suicide Prevention

Because suicide and mental health are high priority health issues in Ottawa County, community partners such as the Ottawa County Suicide Prevention Coalition continue to work together to address these important issues. The coalition’s mission is to decrease the number of suicides and the stigma associated with mental health in Ottawa County by educating the community about warning signs and prevention strategies, promoting existing suicide prevention and mental health resources, and identifying and addressing emerging issues regarding suicide and suicide prevention.

Coalition Activities

  • Implemented Blue Envelope team response pilot program with Ottawa County schools.
  • Facilitated a follow-up program between Ottawa County Victim’s Advocates and local organizations to ensure families suffering tragic loss have access to resources.
  • Created suicide fatality review team.
  • Supported the implementation of be nice. action plans in Ottawa County.
  • Supported QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) trainings.
  • Educated over 95 healthcare providers on suicide prevention (from multiple health systems).
  • Promoted Man Therapy website in Ottawa County as a way to use humor to reduce stigma around mental health issues like depression and anxiety. 

For more information or to get involved, contact Amy Sheele, Health Educator, at or (616) 393-5799.


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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting, harmful effects on individuals, families and communities. While its causes are complex and determined by multiple factors, the goal of suicide prevention is to reduce factors that increase risk and increase factors that promote resilience. Learn more at

If you need help for yourself or someone else, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline:

Talk or text: 988