The B.C. Coroners Service has released data on the suicide deaths for 2016, and the Interior Health region saw a 13.5 per cent increase from 2015.
According to the report, there were 134 deaths as a result of suicide in the region in 2016, the second highest total for any provincial health authority behind the Fraser (171). Together, the two combined make up 51 per cent of all suicides in the province in 2016.
The highest suicide rate remains in the Northern Health region, where there was 19.6 cases per 100,000 people — 55 people. However, that marked a decline from 2015's rate of 23.3.
Overall, the provincial rate decreased 2.6 per cent, down to 599 from 615 in 2015. Men accounted for 74 per cent of suicides in 2016.
Locally, the Thompson Cariboo region had 35 cases of suicide in 2016, which matched the previous year and saw five fewer than the 2013 total.
Deaths specifically for Kamloops were unavailable, as it did not make the list of the 10 highest townships in B.C. for 2016. Kelowna was fourth on the list with 29 suicides.
The report includes cases that have been completed and those still under investigation. As a result of a 2014 Supreme Court case, "the finding of suicide is now made on a balance of probabilities, in that it is more likely than not, that the death was the result of intentional self-harm."
If you are experiencing distress or despair, including feelings which may lead to suicide call 1-800-784-2433.