(WTNH) -- The chief medical examiner's office says the state's suicide rate has climbed to a 20-year high with more than one per day.
Suicide is one of those taboo topics. Nobody really wants to talk about it, but the reality is, suicide is preventable.
Barbara Melotto has an ache in her heart she'll carry for the rest of her life. Her son Michael was 28 years old when he shot himself to death.
"He was a single guy with his own home," said Melotta, "his friends all looked up to him, I don't know how that happens, I don't know."
She found him in his home, "a couple of his friends and his brother, we were going to talk to him to see if we could get him to go for help, but it was too late."
It was help they sought after discovering that Michael was showing signs of schizophrenia.
Mental illness is a major risk for suicide.
Nationwide, the number of suicides is increasing. Connecticut however, hovers near the bottom, but within the state, New Haven County, compared to similar populations, topped the list in 2011 with 99. It was followed by Hartford and Fairfield Counties at an upward tick, experts say, that began five years ago.
Suicide prevention specialist, Mary Drexler is with Contact USA, which monitors crisis centers across the country.
"I think you have to attribute some of it to the economy because of the key factors," said Drexler, "or risk factors are financial losses, relationship issues."
Drexler added, "if something like depression already exists and then you have other environmental factors that impact you, it will certainly increase your risk for suicide."
She said the troubling numbers indicate the need for being more direct and the need for more listening.
"You have to say are you really thinking of killing yourself," Drexler said. "People are afraid to ask the question. Be that support system to get them to the services they need."
"A lot of people say if you mention it, or talk about it, then they'll go out and kill themselves," Melotto said, "but if that's what their intent is, then that's what their intent is, it's not because you mentioned it."
Melotto now runs a support group and speaks out when she can, so that others will not feel her pain.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the highest rate of suicide is among the age group of 45 to 64, and more men than women.
The AFSP says suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.