Alarming Suicide Stats - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Alarming Suicide Stats

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It can sometimes carry a domino effect: lose a job, lose a house, then lose family support. It happened to a lot of Americans as the nation fell into a recession from 2007 to 2009, and now a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention points to a possible link with suicide.

While numbers stayed steady for younger and older Americans -- the report which was based on death certificates filed from 1999 to 2010-- revealed a 28 percent jump in suicides among people 35 to 64 years old. The rate spiked even more among white men and women in that age group. Their rate is up by 40 percent.

Brenda Fitch is with Crisis Intervention of Houston, an organization that offers help to those in need.

"Economic crisis, housing prices, all the (things) you can think about that's affecting everyone," Fitch said.

Based on the report, suicide is now the 10th leading cause of all deaths in the United States, but it's the fourth leading cause among the middle age, behind cancer, heart disease and accidents.

"I've been with the agency 25 years, and I can remember the time when our overall suicide call rate was 2 percent, now its 8 to 9 percent," she said.

Suicide doesn't discriminate. The same day the CDC report was released, a 29 year old man named Carnell Moore, shot and killed himself inside Terminal B of Houston's largest airport. The very public act took place in front of countless travelers and airport employees.

"Inside of his suitcase was what we would refer to as a suicide note," said HPD Sgt. Brian Harris at a Friday news conference.

Investigators searched the man's Facebook page for clues to his state of mind.

Back at the crisis center, volunteers are using changes in technology as outreach. Instead of a traditional call, young people in need can text the word "Teen" to the number 78247.

"Last year we received 4000 texts," Fitch said. "So far this year, we're approaching 6010."

As part of Mental Health Month, members of the Houston Psychiatric Society will be taking phone calls and answering questions free of charge on Saturday, May 4, 2013. The number to call is 713.524.4267.

Contact: Crisis Intervention of Houston


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