Media coverage of the death of Robin Williams has vaulted the issue of suicide into public awareness.
Here are some sobering statistics about suicide from the suicide prevention website Suicide.org:
- There are 750,000 suicide attempts each year and 5 million living Americans who have made attempts.
- More than 90 percent of completed suicides are from firearms (55 percent), hanging and suffocation (20 percent) and poisoning/overdose (17 percent).
Because self-inflicted gunshot wounds are so lethal and comprise more than half of all completed suicides, it is imperative that friends and loved ones remove access to firearms from a suicidal person.
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If someone who has made a suicide attempt in the past becomes suicidal, do not let him or her out of your sight until the person can be evaluated by a mental health professional. A past attempt is the leading risk factor. The majority of people who become actively suicidal can be helped by the many mental health professionals in our community.