Grace in the face of suicide

Theological questions and hopes

Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide, by Kay Redfield Jamison.

Every 17 minutes someone in America takes his or her own life. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, and the third among teenagers. In 1995 more young Americans died by suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and lung disease combined. Worldwide more people die by suicide than by homicide (in the U.S. the numbers are 30,000 compared to 19,000) or warfare. Studies suggest that the great majority of these people suffered from a diagnosable mental illness, and that most of them received either no treatment or inadequate treatment. People with schizophrenia are eight times more likely than the general population to die by suicide, those with manic-depression 15 times, and those with depression 20 times.

 

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