-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Suicides in U.S. national
parks are a serious but preventable health issue, researchers
In a recent seven-year span, 84 national parks reported 194
suicides and 92 attempted suicides, an average of 41 events a year,
according to the research. Firearms and falls, such as jumping from
a cliff or bridge, were the most frequently used methods.
The findings appear in the Dec. 3 issue of the
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most of the completed suicides -- 83 percent -- involved males,
the research showed.
Even though the number of suicides in national parks is small
compared to the overall suicide toll in the country, each case
represents a tragic and preventable death that deeply affects
families and friends, the authors pointed out.
The researchers, who studied suicide-related events from January
2003 to December 2009, recommended two main approaches to help
prevent suicides in national parks. First, parks officials need to
collaborate with community suicide prevention programs to increase
access to resources, guidance and training. Parks also need to
construct barriers or restrict access to sites that may be used for
Of the parks surveyed, Blue Ridge Parkway and the Grand Canyon
National Park reported the most suicide-related events, 21
In 2007, there were 34,598 suicides in the United States,
according to the study. About three-quarters of U.S. suicides occur
in the home.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
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