Facts about suicide

Posted April 28, 2011, at 6:56 p.m.
Last modified April 28, 2011, at 7:11 p.m.
  • The number of completed suicides in Maine averages about 160 annually, or 13.7 per 100,000 people.
  • More than 1,000 people every year are hospitalized in Maine with self-inflicted injuries.
  • Nationally, there have been an average of 30,000-35,000 suicides annually for the last decade, although the numbers have been trending upward.
  • Males are five times more likely than females to attempt suicide.
  • More than half of suicides are completed with a firearm, but females are much less likely to use a firearm.
  • For 15-34-year-olds in Maine, suicide is the second-leading cause of death.
  • For 35-55-year-olds in Maine, suicide is the fourth-leading cause of death.

Sources: Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Resources: The Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, has a wealth of information about suicide as well as common risk factors and frequently asked questions online at: http://www.maine.gov/suicide/index.htm

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a national advocacy organization, also has detailed data and resources, both for professionals and for those at risk of suicide on its website:  http://www.afsp.org/

The statewide suicide hotline referral number is 1-888-568-1112

In Bangor, the Youth Crisis Stabilization Program for children aged 6-19 can be reached at 1-800-499-9130

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK

Common risk factors:

Psychiatric disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental illness.

Alcohol or drug abuse, particularly if combined with depression.

Past history of attempted suicide

Genetic predisposition

Impulsivity

Common warning signs:

Strong feelings of pessimism, hopelessness or desperation

Sleep problems

Increased alcohol and-or other drug use

Threatening suicide, expressing a strong wish to die or making a plan

Giving away possessions

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