Monday, October 24, 2011

Colorado ranks above national average in suicidal thoughts, report says


A recent article in the Denver Post, Colorado ranks above national average in suicidal thoughts, highlights results from the Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years --- United States, 2008-2009 report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the first survey to look at suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts — rather than completed suicides — on a state-by-state basis.

The report indicates that about 4.6 percent of adult Coloradans gave serious thought to suicide in the previous year, compared with the national average of 3.7 percent. And, overall, about 1 percent of American adults went so far as to make suicide plans, compared with 1.4 percent of Coloradans.

“In this case, being above the national average is not a good thing. However, this report does provide valuable evidence that Colorado not only ranks among the top 10 states in terms of deaths by suicide but also in suicidal thoughts. It is our goal to prevent suicidal thinking in our population as well as deaths.” explains Taylor Moore, PhD Suicide & Violence Prevention Specialist with the Office of Suicide Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Another recent article Larimer suicide rate on record pace supports these findings and reveals that the number of suicide deaths in Larimer County is on track to set a new record this year, which experts say may be due to an ongoing sense of “economic despair” about jobs, housing and finances.

Jarrod Hindman, who leads Colorado's suicide prevention efforts, said the high number of men who die by suicide — especially during a poor economy — suggests those men were feeling economic despair. He said mental health and substance abuse struggles underlie the majority of people who die by suicide, and that economic troubles exacerbate things.

“They’re thinking, ‘I don’t have a job. My family is dependent on me, and I’m a burden on them,’ ” Hindman said. “All these things kind of pile on top of a person.”

Suicide Prevention is identified as a Colorado Winnable Battle and is supported by The Office of Suicide Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

There is hope. There is help. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide or is in need of help, call 1 – 800 – 273 – 8255 to talk to a trained crisis counselor. The call is toll free and anonymous.

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