Report: Suicide a leading cause of death in Ind.

By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Suicide was the second leading cause of death among 15 to 34 year olds in Indiana between 2006 and 2010 and the third leading cause of death for adolescents between 10 and 14, a new report says.

The Suicide in Indiana report, released Friday by the Indiana Department of Health, shows that suicide was the 11th leading cause of death overall in Indiana.

“Suicide deaths leave a legacy of unimaginable hurt and guilt in families and communities,” said Dr. Joan Duwve, the Health Department’s chief medical officer.

The report says the number of suicides has increased in Indiana slightly each year since 2007. There were 872 deaths because of suicide in Indiana in 2011, up from 867 deaths in 2010. The overall suicide rate in Indiana was 12.54 per 100,000 people, compared with the U.S. rate of 11.31 and the Midwest rate of 11.22.

The report found the most common method of suicide for males was using firearms, while for females it was poisoning.

“People who commit suicide often have untreated depression or substance abuse needs. It is the responsibility of all of us to learn the warning signs and take appropriate action,” Kevin Moore, director of the Division of Mental Health and Addiction for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

The Health Department says risk factors for suicide include recent crisis or loss, unemployment, severe depression or feelings of hopelessness, family history of suicide, physical or sexual abuse, substance abuse and access to firearms or other lethal means.

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