To the Editor.—
Recently (225:992, 1973), I reported data from 1968 relevant to the question of whether the introduction of suicide prevention centers to cities in the United States has had an effect on the suicide rates of those cities. The answer was negative. Official statistics for 1969 gave essentially the same answer.1 Robert Langberg of the National Center for Health Statistics has recently made available to me data on the suicide rate of the 50 leading metropolitan centers, which permit a further analysis of the effect of suicide prevention centers on the suicide rate.Eighteen American cities had no suicide prevention center by 1969, thirteen cities are listed as having a suicide prevention center by 1969 but not by 1967, and 16 cities already had suicide prevention centers by 1967.2,3The suicide rates of those 47 cities in 1960, 1969, and 1970 are shown in Table 1.
Lester D. Suicide Prevention Centers: Data From 1970. JAMA. 1974;229(4):394. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230420016016