Friday, June 13, 2008

Suicide calls up 87% in PBC

PALM BEACH COUNTY -- The 24-hour crisis line, 211, has received 87% more calls this year from Palm Beach County residents considering suicide than in the same time period last year.

One reason for this, said Susan Buza, 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast Executive Director, is the sagging economy. “We’ve gotten almost three times as many calls this year from people who are thinking about suicide because of financial problems,” Buza said.

The time periods compared were January 1 through June 10, 2007 and the same period in 2008. 211 received 137 Palm Beach County suicide calls in 2007 and 256 calls in 2008. In 2007, 15 callers said they were considering suicide because they were homeless, had a home in foreclosure, had lost their job or didn’t have enough money to pay their bills. In 2008, 44 suicidal callers gave one of those reasons as the main cause of their distress.

The most common reason Palm Beach County callers mentioned for contemplating suicide was depression—58 in 2007 and 54 in 2008. Other reasons included relationships (27 in 2007, 59 in 2008); mental illness (9 in 2007, 56 in 2008); drugs or alcohol (11 in 2007, 16 in 2008); health issues (8 in 2007, 16 in 2008); bereavement (5 in 2007, 4 in 2008); and unknown (4 in 2007, 7
in 2008).


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