State Suicide Rate At 20 Year High

It now averages more than one suicide a day.

The suicide rate in Connecticut is at a 200-year high.

The New Haven Register reports that the state total has been rising for the past five years and now averages more than one suicide a day.

There were 371 suicides in our state last year.

New Haven County had the highest number of suicides last year with 99, followed by Hartford County with 87. The most recent national figures show Connecticut ranked 47th in suicides among states in 2009 with a rate of nine per 100,000 people.

Connecticut's suicide rate is low compared to other states but the 371 suicides last year is the most in more than two decades.

It's not clear why, but officials believe the economic downturn probably has been a factor.

Mary Drexler, director of Contact USA, told the Register that gambling might also be a factor.

“What you have to think about here, too, in Connecticut, (is) gambling is the addiction with the highest risk for suicide,” Drexler said. “We have two major casinos and a pretty sturdy Connecticut Lottery, so you can look at the fact that there’s a high financial risk there that creates relationship difficulties.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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