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JAMA Patient Page
May 25, 2005


JAMA. 2005;293(20):2558. doi:10.1001/jama.293.20.2558

Suicide (self-inflicted death) occurs in all parts of the world. Suicide causes about half of all deaths due to violence. Approximately 1 million persons die each year worldwide from suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among persons aged 15 to 24 years in the United States, following unintentional injuries and homicide. Suicide is often preventable. Warning signs are often present, and individuals who talk about killing themselves must be taken seriously. Mental illness is present in most persons who die by suicide. Treating these mental illnesses can help to decrease the number of deaths by suicide. Suicide affects not only the person who dies but also his or her entire social structure—family, friends, and acquaintances. The May 25, 2005, issue of JAMA includes a report of surveys about suicidal thoughts and behaviors in persons living in the United States.