Facing the Grim Statistics of Suicide

Article excerpt

Byline: Dianna Hubay

Don't become a suicide statistic: Get help

Today's column focuses on suicide.

It is estimated that over 30,000 Americans died from suicide in 1986 and close to one percent of Americans will die from suicide this year.

Suicide is the sixth leading cause of death in the 5- to 14-year-old group and the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds (following unintentional deaths and homicide). The suicide rate of American teenagers is currently one of the highest in the world.

Every 17.3 minutes, someone commits suicide. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the nation.

One elderly person commits suicide every 1.3 minutes. Five million living Americans have attempted to kill themselves.

An estimated 210,000 people attempt suicide each year resulting in more than 10,000 permanent disabilities, 155,500 physician visits, 259,200 hospital days and more than $115 million in direct medical expenses.

Half to two-thirds of people who commit suicide visit a physician less than one month before the incident, and 10 to 40 percent of those who commit suicide visit a physician in the preceding week.

Only three to five percent of people threatening suicide express certainty that they want to die.

It was reported in a study of completed suicides that more than two-thirds of them had made previous attempts, but only 39 percent of their physicians were aware of this.

At least 70 percent of all those who commit suicide give some clue to their intentions. …