Calif.: Half-million think about suicide

Dec. 28, 2012 at 12:13 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- More than half a million adults in California say they seriously thought about committing suicide during the previous year, researchers say.

Researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research used data from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey and found gay, lesbian and bisexual Californians were more than three times as likely as all adults to have seriously thought about suicide during the previous year.

Lead author David Grant, director of the California Health Interview Survey, said 65 percent of adults who needed mental health services for serious psychological distress and who had recent suicidal thoughts received little or no treatment.

In California, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, and an average of nine deaths by suicide occur each day in the state, Grant said.

"Suicide is complex and always devastating," Grant said in a statement.

Among all ethnic groups, American Indians and Alaska Natives had the highest level of suicidal thoughts, while adults who reported a disability due to a physical, mental or emotional condition were four times as likely as all adults to report having suicidal thoughts. In addition, nearly 5 percent of smokers also had suicidal thoughts, the study found.

Adults who said they were married reported lower rates of suicidal thoughts at 1.1 percent than those who were not married at 2.6 percent.

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