More than half a million California adults think seriously about committing suicide, study reveals

December 20, 2012 by Letisia Marquez
More than half a million California adults think seriously about committing suicide, study reveals

(Medical Xpress)—More than half a million adults in California seriously thought about committing suicide during the previous year, according to a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

The study, which uses data from the 2009 California (CHIS), is the first by the center to focus on suicide ideation.

In California, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, the researchers noted. An average of nine deaths by suicide occur each day in the state.

"Suicide is complex and always devastating," said David Grant, the report's lead author and director of CHIS. "Our research identifies some populations that are at high risk of suicidal behavior, and our findings may help target prevention efforts and, hopefully, save lives."

Among the study's findings:

  • Gays, lesbians, bisexuals at greatest risk: Gay, lesbian and bisexual Californians were more than three times as likely (6.5 percent) as all adults (1.8 percent) to have seriously thought about suicide during the previous year.
  • Suicidal thoughts high for Americans Indians, Alaska Natives:
  • Among all ethnic groups, and Alaska Natives had the highest level of (6.2 percent).
  • People with disabilities, smokers also at risk: Adults who reported a disability due to a physical, mental or were four times as likely (4.2 percent) as all adults to report having suicidal thoughts. Nearly 5 percent of smokers also had suicidal thoughts.
  • Differences in married, non-married adults: Those adults who said they were married reported lower rates of suicidal thoughts (1.1 percent) than those who were not married (2.6 percent.)
  • At-risk adults not receiving treatment they need: Sixty-five percent of adults who need for serious and who had recent suicidal thoughts received little or no treatment.
  • Higher rates of suicide in northern and Sierra counties: About 2.1 percent of adults in California's northern and Sierra counties had seriously thought about suicide in the past year, a finding consistent with reported deaths by suicide based on 2009 vital statistics data. The Sacramento area and Los Angeles reported similar rates of suicidal thoughts, but their suicide rates were lower.
Read the policy brief: "More Than Half a Million California Adults Seriously thought About Suicide in the Past Year."

Explore further: Self-injury in young people is gateway to suicide

Related Stories

Self-injury in young people is gateway to suicide

December 5, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI)—deliberately harming one's body through such acts as cutting, burning or biting—is a primary risk factor for future suicide in teens and young adults, finds a new longitudinal ...

Midwest, West highest in contemplating suicide

October 20, 2011

(AP) -- More adults in the Midwest and West have suicidal thoughts than people in the rest of the country, but Rhode Island leads in suicide attempts, according to the first government study of its kind.

Recommended for you

Half of people believe fake facts

December 7, 2016

Many people are prone to 'remembering' events that never happened, according to new research by the University of Warwick.

Helping children achieve more in school

December 7, 2016

Not all children do well in school, despite being intellectually capable. Whilst parental relationships, motivation and self-concept all have a role to play, a recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology ...

MRI scans detect 'brain rust' in schizophrenia

December 7, 2016

A damaging chemical imbalance in the brain may contribute to schizophrenia, according to research presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Annual Meeting in Hollywood, Florida.

Want to give a good gift? Think past the 'big reveal'

December 6, 2016

Gift givers often make critical errors in gift selection during the holiday season, according to a new research article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Tausch
not rated yet Dec 20, 2012
Psychologists and psychiatrists world wide at greatest risk.
Heal thyself. First.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.