Suicide rates skyrocket

For young people, between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third-leading cause of death. And in 2004, the latest year for which data are available, the rate spiked dramatically after years of decreasing, resulting in the deaths of 4,599 youths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report compiling data from 1990 to 2004, showing a steady decrease until 2004, when the number of deaths jumped 8 percent. Here is some of what they found:

• About 21 in 100,000 males, ages 20-24, committed suicide in 2004.

• About 4 in 100,000 females, ages 20-24, took their own lives that same year.

• 71.4 percent of suicides by girls ages 10-14, 49 percent for ages 15-19, and 34.2 percent for ages 20-24 were conducted by hanging or suffocation.

• The rate of suicides by girls ages 10-14 spiked 75.9 percent from 2003 to 2004. For those ages 15-19, it rose 32.3 percent. The suicide rate for males ages 15-19 rose 9 percent.

Here are some results of a nationwide survey of high school students in both public and private schools:

17% Reported seriously considering suicide

13% Created a plan

8% Had attempted suicide in the past year

More people survive suicides than not. If you’re having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). On the Chico State campus, help can be found at the Psychological Counseling Center in room 141 of Meriam Library (898-6345).

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