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  • NO WAY!

    Filed at 3:40 pm under by dcobranchi

    Can this stat be correct?

    About one in 10 high school students in the San Diego Unified School District attempted suicide last year, which is higher than the national average, according to a survey of 1,800 students.

    The number of reported suicide attempts among ninth-through 12th-graders was 10.9 percent, compared with 10.5 percent the previous year.

    The county ranked above the national average of 8.5 percent of students who acknowledged in a survey that they had attempted suicide.

    So, discounting multiple attempts by the same person, approximately one in three kids will attempt suicide during their high school years? That just seems way too high.

    UPDATE: Here’s the source of the 8.9 percent national figure. Based on their criteria, the actual figure should have been even higher than 8.9 percent (“successful” suicides were not counted). They do include a caveat about self-reporting bias, but I don’t know how big a role that would have played. Pretty scary stuff.

    4 Responses to “NO WAY!”

    Comment by
    November 30th, 2004
    at 4:42 pm

    If I had to guess, I would say that the statistic is based on a survey question along the lines of “Have you ever thought about killing yourself,” or “have you ever wished you were dead.” Then the social service unit that sponsored the survery declares a crisis and looks for taxpayer handouts to solve to problem.

    Not that I’m cynical or anything…

    The article uses the phrase reported suicide attempts. Reported by who? The teen in response to a survey question…how accurate can that be?

    Comment by
    November 30th, 2004
    at 4:46 pm

    If I was really, really cynical I might point out that if we accept the report at face value, suicide attempts are rising as teenage sex and drinking declines. (Assuming we can use teen pregnancy as a proxy for sex…)

    But I’m not that cyncial. I don’t trust self reported data from teenagers.

    Comment by
    November 30th, 2004
    at 6:21 pm

    I can sadly say that in my son’s highschool years he had 2 friends ( regular classmates) that unfortunately completed their attempts. For one it was her 2nd attempt that succeeded. They were kids that on the outside looked like they had alot going for them smart & well liked.

    Then there are a few classmates that died while driving recklessly. Too many others to count that did other risky drinking & drug behavior while they haven’t succeeded in physically ended their lives they have really made a mess of their lives.
    That’s all just at one of maybe a dozen public highschools in the whole county area & I’m sure you’d find similar stats at the other schools .

    Comment by
    December 2nd, 2004
    at 9:29 pm

    It isn’t unlikely to be real. I know about 7 people who have tried to commit suicide – none sucessfully, thank goodness – and I know that the number of people I know who have tried but that I don’t know about their attempts is probably a lot higher, especially as 6 of the 7 I know are females, and statistically more males attempt suicide.

    Some have had help for their problems, others haven’t, and some of them will suceed sooner or later at their attempts.