Letters to the Editor

Get help for suicide

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.

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.