FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marshall Ellis, 703-516-6768
A number of recent news reports have highlighted the need for better services for individuals at risk for suicide.
Crying Out for Help, The Washington Post, Jan. 22, 2008
A growing number of young Latina women in the United States contemplate or attempt suicide each year. The article considers the cultural implications of the increasing rate of suicides among young Latina women (ages 12-17 years), stemming in part from an apparent conflict between American popular culture and Latino culture and family values. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth nationwide and is the most preventable. Latina teens are more likely to try to take their lives than any other racial or ethnic group their age. They are caught between an "American popular culture that encourages them to be sexy and assertive, and family expectations that they be modest and submissive." This can lead young women to feel disconnected from both school and home with no one to talk to, what one psychologist calls being "of the divided heart."
"These adolescents have intense emotions and no tools to process them," says social worker Carolina Hausman. Other experts note that suicide attempts like those in the Latina community (swallowing pills at home and wrist cutting), are "more a cry for help than evidence of a will to die."
Impulsivity is a common risk factor for youth, with thoughts of suicide being time-limited, lasting from a few hours to a few days. With the proper resources, impulsive thoughts can be de-escalated before they become a more serious problem. Without the tools to openly and safely engage in problem-solving and cope with personal crisis, this trend among young Latina women is likely to continue.
CrisisLink’s 24/7 Hotlines and You Talk, We Listen youth outreach initiative offer both immediate resources for youth in crisis as well as resources to students, parents, and teachers on recognizing depression and preventing suicide
Army Suicides Up 20 Percent in 2007, Report Says, CNN.com, Jan. 31, 2008
Officials report that as many as 121 Army soldiers died by suicide in 2007, more than 20% more than in 2006.
Despite recent efforts to improve mental health services for U.S. troops, stress levels remain high. 2007 saw an 20% increase in suicides among Army troops, with more than a quarter dying while serving in Iraq. The number of attempted suicides and self-injuries has also increased dramatically in recent years–some 2,100, or 5 a day, in 2007 compared to less than 1,500 in 2006 and fewer than 500 in 2002.
Suicide is a major concern among our nations veterans as well. Studies indicate veterans account for 1 in 5 male suicides.
Read our fact sheet on mental health and the military [PDF] for information on CrisisLink initiatives in this area.
CrisisLink saves lives and prevents tragedies, giving vital support to those facing life crises, trauma, and suicide, and provides information, education and links to community resources to empower people to help themselves. Since 1969, CrisisLink has answered more than half a million crisis calls, responded to over 20,000 potential suicides, and provided more than a quarter million referrals.