Fight Against Suicide
Suicide is an all-too-often occurrence, happening once every 40 seconds, somewhere around the world. This is equal to approximately one million suicides per year. In the United States, help is available at this easy-to-remember phone number: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433.) Anyone who is considering suicide should call the number, which is open 24/7 and 365 days a year.
Countries with Highest Suicide Rate
Surprisingly, the country with the highest suicide rate is Greenland. However, Greenland has a relatively small population and 62 suicides per year are enough to put them in the lead by percentage. In second and third place, respectively, are North Korea and Lithuania. Each of these countries have just under one-third of the percentage of suicides that Greenland reports each year. The United States takes 33rd place, having an average of 12 suicides committed per 1,000 residents, annually.
Variable Rates of Suicides
Looking at the sheer numbers of suicides worldwide, however, paints somewhat of a different picture; China reports 300,000 suicides annually, compared to the United States 37,500 suicides and Greenland’s 62 suicides yearly. This is due to the huge variance of population sizes between those three countries. Another notable factor is that China is among the very few countries where the incidence of suicide is higher for women than for men.
Males are More Susceptible
In 2010, there was an average of one suicide every 13 minutes, just in the United States. Additionally, with 38,363 cases of suicide in 2010, it was the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. By far, American males commit suicide more often than American women do, and that holds true for every age group. However, the overwhelming majority of these males are 65 years of age and older.
Looking at the gender and race of American suicides shows us that, once again, males make up the largest percentages in these five major race categories: Native American Indian and Alaskan, white, Mexican, black, and Asian/Pacific Islander. The first two groups, Native American Indian – Alaskan and white, account for half of the male U.S. suicides. Accordingly, Mexican, black and Asian/Pacific Islander are split almost evenly, which accounts for the other half.
Methods Used for Suicide
Of the three major methods used to commit suicide, which are firearms, suffocation and poisoning, males are far more apt to choose death by using a gun. For women, however, age seems to play a role in the method of suicide chosen; younger females choose suffocation more often, women in the middle age bracket are prone to ingesting poison, and those age 65 years and above turn to firearms most often.
Sadly, only until recent times has suicide become realized as the mental health issue that it is. In bygone eras, suicide was looked at as sinful, wicked or even as courageous and dignified, which the Japanese Kamikaze pilots of Japan during WWII exemplify. Finally, suicide is regarded as a physiological condition or as a sign of mental disease, for which help is available. Suicide is no longer looked upon as the easy escape of a weak individual.