Introduction: The Extent of the Problem

  • Ellen L. Bassuk
  • Andrew D. Gill
  • Stephen C. Schoonover


Suicide is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States and currently accounts for 60 to 70 fatalities per day. Its rate has increased slightly since the turn of the century and is now approximately 12.7 per 100,000 population.1 Many more people attempt suicide than succeed. In recent years the number of attempts, especially by drug overdosage, has climbed to epidemic proportions and has led to a rise in the number of associated medical admissions. The reported ratio of eight attempts to one completed suicide is significantly underestimated.2 In addition, countless people seriously contemplate the act without carrying it out. Many of these individuals require professional help. Taken together, the entire range of suicidal feelings, thoughts, and behaviors constitutes a major health care problem and reflects the untold suffering of large numbers of people.


Suicide Rate Suicidal Patient Medical Admission Infrequent Event Compr Psychiatry 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen L. Bassuk
  • Andrew D. Gill
  • Stephen C. Schoonover

There are no affiliations available

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