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Facts

Suicide is a major South Carolina public health problem.

  • South Carolina has five suicide attempts per day at an average costs $7,273.00 per person. This would mean that South Carolina spends over 13 million dollars per year on attempted suicides.
  • South Carolina has an average of 6 suicides every 5 days.
  • 520 residents in South Carolina died of suicide in 2005.
  • There were more suicides in South Carolina than homicides for the past three years.
  • Suicide rates for South Carolina have steadily increased from 1999 to present.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for college students, 3 rd leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds, the 5 th leading cause of death for 10-14 year olds and the 11 th leading cause of death for overall population.
  • Each completed and attempted suicide directly affects six other South Carolinians .

There is a strong association between suicide and mental illness.

  • Seventy percent of South Carolinians who attempt or complete suicide have never touched a mental health system , either private or public.
  • Approximately 62,000 people in South Carolina suffer from depression . Fifty percent of those who die by suicide were afflicted with major depression, and the suicide rate of people with major depression is eight times that of the general population.
  • Ninety percent of all suicides are associated with an undiagnosed or untreated mental illness , including disorders involving the abuse of alcohol and other drugs

There are gender, ethnic, and age differences in suicide.

  • Males are four times as likely to die by suicide than as females - although females attempt suicide three times as often as males.
  • White Americans are more likely to die by suicide than Americans of other racial backgrounds.
  • Suicide rates increase with age. Elderly people who die by suicide are often divorced or widowed and suffering from a physical illness.

Suicide is a preventable public health problem.