Worcester State University
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Email College Police at wscpolice@worcester.edu

Suicide doesn't just effect those who commit them. They also effect those who knew them. If you feel you need help or know someone who does, don't hesitate to contact Worcester State College Police at 929-8911 for a referral or the College's Counseling Services at 929-8072


Fast Facts:

     •   Over 32,000 people in the United States kill themselves 
     •   Accounting for 1.4% of all deaths, suicide is the 9th leading 
         cause of death in the U.S. 
     •   A person commits suicide about every 15 minutes in the U.S., 
         but it is estimated that an attempt is made about once a 
     •   60% of all people who commit suicide kill themselves with 
     •   There are 4 male suicides for every female one however, at 
         least twice as many females as males attempt suicide. 
     •   3/4 of all suicides are committed by white males.


     •   96% of alcoholics who commit suicide continue their 
         substance abuse up to the end of their lives. 
     •   Alcoholism is a factor in about 30% of all completed suicides. 
     •   18% of alcoholics die by suicide, 87% of these deaths are 


     •   Highest suicide rates occur in those over 50. In more than half 
         of those deaths, medical illness plays an important role in the 
         motivation to commit suicide. 
Patients who desire an early death during a serious or terminal 
         illness are usually suffering from a treatable depressive 
People with AIDS have a suicide risk up to 20 times 
         that of the general population. 
(figures based on 1995 US Statistics)      

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In order to help a loved one you need to be able to spot the Danger Signals:

Previous suicide attempts:

     •   Between 20-50% of people who kill themselves had previously 
         attempted suicide. Those who have made serious suicide 
         attempts are at a much higher risk for actually taking their lives.

Talking about death or suicide:

     •   People who commit suicide often talk about it directly or 
         indirectly. Be alert to such statements like, "My family would 
         be better off without me." Sometimes those contemplating 
         suicide talk as if they are saying goodbye or going away.

Planning for suicide:

     •   Suicide individuals often arrange to put their affairs in order. 
         They may give away articles they value, pay off debts, or 
         mortgage on a house, or change a will.


     •   Although most depressed people are not suicidal, most 
         suicidal people are depressed. Serious depression can be 
         manifested in obvious sadness, but often it is rather expressed 
         as a loss of pleasure or withdrawal from activities that had been 


Q: What percentage of college students who kill themselves are male? Why do you think more/less males than females kill themselves?
A: 75-80% are males although more females attempt suicide. Males are more involved than females in all forms of aggressive and violent behavior.

Q: I've heard that suicides are more frequent around the holidays? Is this true, and if so, how much do they increase at that time?
A: Suicides are not more frequent during holidays. According to the Vital Statistics of the United States between 1989 and 1991, the highest rates were in April and in the summer months.

Q: It is often said that a suicidal person goes through a period where s/he seeks for help from other  people. Does this then mean that it COULD be ultimately the fault of the people (because they don't appear concerned enough) that one decides to kill him/herself?
A: Not a fair conclusion although true in some cases particularly with elderly, terminally ill people.

Q: What is the biggest cause of suicide among college students?
A: 95% are suffering from mental illness, usually depression. If depressed, substance abuse, anxiety, impulsively, rage, hopelessness and desperation increase the risk.

Q: Apart from talking to a suicidal person and encouraging him/her to go for counseling, what else can we do to prevent this?
A: Going with someone to the counselor often helps. If the person won't listen to you, you may need to talk to someone who might influence him/her. Saving a life is more important than violating a confidence.

Q: What is the most frequent method of suicide? Is the most frequent method different for men and women?
A: 60% of all people who commit suicide, kill themselves with a firearm, accounting for more than 18,000 deaths each year in the US. Firearms are now the most frequent method of suicide for men and women of all ages, including boys and girls aged 10 to 14 years.

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