NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- New York City's suicide death rate is just over half the national rate -- 6 deaths per 100,000 in NYC versus 11 deaths per 100,000 nationally, officials said.
New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, said both the overall suicide and suicide by firearm rates have declined during the past two decades.
The proportion of suicides in which a gun was used has decreased. In 2010, guns were used in 12 percent of the city's 503 suicides while in 1991 guns were used in 19 percent of the city's 649 suicides.
"People who have ready access to guns are more likely to kill themselves with guns than people who do not," Farley said in a statement. "New York City has the lowest rate of suicides by firearm than any other large U.S. city, but to further reduce suicide rates we need to continue our efforts to limit access to guns, reduce drug and excessive alcohol use, create safer environments, and improve identification of people with depression and help them get treatment."
Both locally and across the United States suicide rates were lower among young adults, blacks and Hispanics, and highest among whites and men, the report said. Approximately three quarters of New York City's suicides were among men.
New York's lower suicide by firearm rate suggests the city's strict gun policies may be contributing to its lower suicide rate compared to other major U.S. cities, the report said.