Suicide Rates Change Little Over Decades

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

The struggle against suicide can progress with candor, less stigma

For every 100,000 U.S. citizens, 12.4 committed suicide in 2010, down just slightly from the 12.5 who did in 1990, noted David Clark, Ph.D., a member of the International Academy for Suicide Research at the 13th annual Naomi Ruth Cohen community conference aimed at reducing the stigma of mental health problems. The figure has been constant over the past 50 years. Suicide is a stubborn illness, but a growing willingness to talk about it, seeking help without shame, and more programs to help suicide victims and their families is expected one day to drive down the number of those who take their own lives.

Cheryl King, Ph.D., director of the Youth Depression and Suicide Research Program at the University of Michigan, told the hundreds of attendees, “Suicide prevention takes constant messages of hope and lifelong strategies with a special focus on the young.” She likened humans struggling with challenges to plants. “They’re not all equally strong. So we water them, support them, nudge them however we can. The conferences are put on each year by the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute, part of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. It can be reached at 312-467-2552 or

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