Katie Couric's Notebook: Suicide Rate

The headline is startling enough: The first increase in the suicide rate in a decade. Even more shocking is what's behind it – a rise in suicide by middle-age white women, a group we think of as soccer moms, not suicide victims.

The report, compiled by Johns Hopkins researchers, covers the period from 1999 to 2005. With our current financial crisis, the problem could get worse. Suicide-prevention counselors say calls are way up, with twice as many women calling now as four months ago.

So far, those are just statistics. Researchers need to examine the stories behind the numbers. What let these women to take their lives? Were they under pressure at work? At home? The sad truth is, we simply don't know.

Most prevention programs focus on those considered to be high-risk, like teenagers, young adults and older white males. This study shows we need to rethink that.
  • Katie Couric

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