Archive for Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Higher suicide rate in state unfortunate

Editorial

April 11, 2001

People in the state of Kansas are bucking a national trend.

That's not a good thing.

At a time when the national suicide rate is declining, the rate in Kansas is increasing.

And there's more bad news. In 1998, suicide was the second-leading cause of death among Kansas young people, ages 15 to 24, according to information in a Kansas Department of Health and Environment research project.

The study, "Suicides, Kansas, 1989-1998," characterizes the 3,108 suicide deaths reported between 1989 and 1998 in the state.

Particularly disturbing is the suicide death rate for people ages 15 to 24. It increased 31.6 percent during the years covered in the study. The next highest rate of increase occurred to Kansans ages 35 to 44 a 23 percent increase.

According to the report, guns continue to be the most common method of suicide for both males and females. Firearms account for nearly 64 percent of all suicide deaths in the 10-year period.

These are sobering statistics for our state, and particularly for young people in our state. People in the 15- to 24-year-old age bracket should be celebrating their lives, not ending them.

Perhaps the overriding message from this study is that during the 10-year period more than 3,100 Kansans determined that ending their lives was the best choice. That hopelessness is unfortunate because so many forms of help are available.

Anyone who knows anyone who is struggling with life should help that person reach out for help.

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