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~ Suicide ~

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Self - Harm

If you are thinking about suicide:

Click here to read THIS first -

To talk with a caring listener about your suicidal feelings,
in the U.S. call
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) any time, day or night.

Important Q&A:

Q.   People often get uncomfortable when one discloses something as intimate and frightening as suicidal thoughts. What do you think can be done to reduce this stigma, either of suicidal people, or of depressive patients? Can people actually change their minds and accept someone who is suicidal?

A.   As people recognize that suicidal behavior is the result of a medical condition not a sign of weakness or character defect it will change.

Facts About Suicide:

bullet  Over 30,000 people in the United States kill themselves every year.
bullet  In 2004 (latest available date), there were 32,439 reported suicide deaths.
bullet  Suicide is fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 65 years in the U.S., with approximately 26,500 suicides.  
bullet  Currently, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S.
bullet  A person dies by suicide about every eighteen minutes in the U.S. An attempt is estimated to be made once every minute.
bullet  Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
bullet  There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but twice as many females as males attempt suicide.
bullet  Every day, approximately 80 Americans take their own life, and 1,500 more attempt to do so.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) -


All suicides


 Number of deaths: 31,484 (2003)


 Deaths per 100,000 population: 10.8 (2003)

Firearm suicides


 Number of deaths: 16,907 (2003)


 Deaths per 100,000 population: 5.8 (2003)

Suffocation suicides


 Number of deaths: 6,635 (2003)


 Deaths per 100,000 population: 2.3 (2003)

Poisoning suicides


 Number of deaths: 5,462 (2003)


 Deaths per 100,000 population: 1.9 (2003)

National Center for Health Statistics -

Risk Factors:

The first step in preventing suicide is to identify and understand the risk factors. A risk factor is anything that increases the likelihood that persons will harm themselves. However, risk factors are not necessarily causes. Research has identified the following risk factors for suicide (DHHS 1999):

bullet  Previous suicide attempt(s)
bullet  History of mental disorders, particularly depression
bullet  History of alcohol and substance abuse
bullet  Family history of suicide
bullet  Family history of child maltreatment
bullet  Feelings of hopelessness
bullet  Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
bullet  Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
bullet  Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
bullet  Physical illness
bullet  Easy access to lethal methods
bullet  Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or suicidal thoughts
bullet  Cultural and religious beliefs—for instance, the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
bullet  Local epidemics of suicide
bullet  Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people

Protective Factors:

Protective factors buffer people from the risks associated with suicide. A number of protective factors have been identified (DHHS 1999):

bullet  Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
bullet  Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking
bullet  Family and community support
bullet  Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
bullet  Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent handling of disputes
bullet  Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support self-preservation instincts




1000 Deaths
This site is run by survivors for survivors. Offers memorials for loved ones lost to suicide and email support groups for survivors, as well as other news and events of importance to survivors.

Stop a Suicide, Today!
Teaches you how to recognize the signs of suicide in family members, friends and co-workers, and empowers you to make a difference in the lives of your loved ones. It emphasizes the relationship between suicide and mental illness and the notion that a key step in reducing suicide is to get those in need into mental health treatment.

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support
This web site is well written and filled with easy to understand statistics.  There is an abundance of information to be found here.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
If you or someone you know suffers from depression or manic depression (also known as bipolar disorder), you understand all too well its symptoms may include feelings of sadness and hopelessness. These feelings can also include thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Whether we have suicidal thoughts ourselves or know a severely depressed person who does, there are ways that we can respond with strength and courage.

NIMH - National Institue of Mental Health
In Harms Way: Suicide in America

The Aeschi Working Group's website
Group that meets every 2 years for improving the therapeutic approach to the suicidal person.

TISA -Training Institute for Suicide Assessment and Clinical Interviewing
This website is designed specifically for mental health professionals, substance abuse counselors, school counselors, primary care physicians, and psychiatric nurses, who are looking for information on the development of suicide prevention skills, crisis intervention skills, and advanced clinical interviewing skills.




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