Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Suicide continues to be a behavior with a surprising degree of regularity in its extent and distribution among social groups. There are about 30,000 suicides per year. In the general population, the rate of suicide has ranged between 10 per 100,000 and 13 per 100,000 for fifty years. It ranks as one of the top ten causes of death. Furthermore, unlike most causes of death, suicide can be prevented. While most people probably fear being murdered more than suicide, the chances of dying by your own hand (11.3 per 100,000) are significantly higher than the chances of being murdered (6.8 per 100,000). The significance of the problem of suicide extends beyond its 30,000 victims each year. For every suicide, there are, on average, six relatives or people (“suicide survivors”) close to the victim. Many survivors experience considerable mental anguish, including guilt, after a suicide. There also are approximately 450,000 suicide ...