Janet A. Grossman
Suicide is a health, family, institutional, political, and social issue of tremendous significance, and the field of suicide prevention is a significant priority for both public and mental health. Federal initiatives, consumer advocacy, clinical efforts, and empirical work have significantly advanced the field. While great strides have been made in the area of suicide prevention over the past two decades, the morbidity and mortality related to suicide remains significant. The short- and long-term impact of the death of one person by suicide is far reaching. Suicide rates can be examined from many perspectives—internationally, nationally, regionally, temporally, racially, by gender or age cohorts. More than 30,000 suicides occur every year in the United States and more than 80 suicides each day, or approximately 1 suicide every 16.7 minutes. In 2004, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death, while homicide was 15th. The rates are highest in persons over 80, and ...