Willerman, L. & Cohen, D.B. (1990). Psychopathology. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.

The annual incidence of suicide per 100,00 is roughly fifteen in the United States and United Kingdom, and ranges from twenty-five in Czechoslovakia to two in Mexico. Given a life expectancy of 75 years, assuming that young children do not commit suicide, the lifetime risk is roughly 15 x 65 = 975 per 100,000 or about one per 100 in the United States.

Suicide should be distinguished from suicide attempts and suicide threats. For example the male/female ratio for suicide attempts is roughly 1 to 3 but 2-3 to 1 for actual suicides. Also, the ratio of suicide attempts to actual suicide is roughtly between 100 and 200 to 1 in high school populations, 10 to 1 in college populations, and 1 to 1 for those over 55... The difference appears to be a function of two things that develop with age: first, the older person is more committed to the act for its own sake than as a means of manipulating others, and second, the older person is more competent to plan and execute the act. Finally, the more lethal the attempt - the more likely death would have occurred had it not been for some fortunate accident like being discovered in time - the more likely a subsequence suicide will occur. (p.385)

~~Risk Enhancing Factors In Predicting Suicide:~~

Male rates are always higher. On the average, the M:F ratio is
roughly 2:1, reduced from 4:1 about thirty years ago, and
compared to a 1:3 ratio of suicide attempts

Whites have a higher rate than blacks, though the rate for
blacks has doubled in recent years

The elderly have the highest rates, with male rates
climbing throughout the life cycle vs. female rates
which peak between 40 and 60 years old and then decline

Family strife increases the risk

Physical infirmity or disability increases the risk

In males, loss of a job or any significant downward
mobility in socioeconomic status is paramount.
In females, loss of, or failure to attain, a
persoanlly significant relationship with a lover,
spouse, or friend is of greater significance

Divorced or separated males have an especially high
rate (roughly 69 per 100,000); the rate for females
is much lower (about 18). Lack of community
affiliation (church or social groups) or interests
(hobbies) increases the risk even further

Risks are greatest during the springtime, especially
in April

History of alcohol abuse, previous suicide attempts,
or a note or other communication of intent is a
significant risk-enhancing factor

Personal or family history of depressive disorder
or suicide is a major indicator. Alcoholism is
another major risk factor (p.386)

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Psychoeducational Index