In 2010, suicide surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. That year, 38,364 Americans took their own lives. In comparison, 32,885 Americans died in car crashes.
Between 2000 and 2009, the death rate for suicide steadily increased, while rates of car crash death declined. Government officials say that safer cars, driver education, and accident prevention programs such as mandatory blood alcohol testing are responsible for the decline in car accident deaths. Researchers at West Virginia University's School of Public Health believe that similar steps are needed to prevent suicides.
Facts about suicide:
- The 2010 suicide rate is 12.4 suicides per 100,000 population.
- Nearly one million people attempt suicide each year.
- About 90 percent of those who attempt suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder.
- Most suicide victims are between the ages of 40 and 59.
- Women are three times more likely than men to attempt suicide.
- Men are four times more likely than women to die by suicide.
Ten years ago, the Institute of Medicine said that only proper diagnosis and training in suicide prevention was necessary in order to reduce the number of suicide deaths, yet suicide rates are increasing—even among patients receiving mental health services. These patients are often misdiagnosed, given improper doses of medication, or made too wait too long to receive services.
Suicide can be a wrongful death. When a mental health professional does not take appropriate action to protect a patient at risk of suicide, he or she may be held liable for psychiatric malpractice if that patient takes his life.
To learn more, contact the Wisconsin wrongful death attorneys at Hupy and Abraham by calling 800-800-5678.