Dying young

Questions about suicide
About every two hours a young person in the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 24 dies of suicide. It wasn’t always this way. The suicide rate for young white males tripled between 1950 and 1994, and it doubled in that period for white females. Though the figures have dropped slightly since then, the rate remains high. In 1999, about 4,000 young people killed themselves. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for college students (after accidents), and the third-leading cause of death (after accidents and homicides) for all those 15-24. A 1999 survey reported that 20 percent of high school students seriously contemplated suicide during the previous year, and 8 percent attempted it. Girls try more often; boys more often succeed.


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