Local, state and national suicide statistics

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Since 2005, 52 people have died by suicide in the Walla Walla Valley. Of those, 17 were female.

Ages range widely - four were teens, one 13 years old.

In the next age group, young adults 40 and under, 12 residents have died by suicide. One person was 84.

Some were counselors, others worked in health care. Bankers, mechanics, homemakers, administrators, carpenters and students - some were educated through sixth grade and others had college degrees.

People were married, divorced, widowed and single.

The methods people chose vary, as well. More than 24, men and women, used guns. One jumped, one used electrocution. A dozen or more ingested too many drugs, while others hanged themselves.

In Washington state, 915 people killed themselves in 2009, from zero in Columbia County to 222 in King County. Homicide, in comparison, killed 193 people while 121 died of undetermined causes.

The leading methods people used, as of 2006, were firearms, poisoning and suffocation or hanging.

Nationally, more than 34,500 Americans died by suicide in 2007, the most recent year that data is available for. There is one suicide every 15.2 minutes; 24 percent of the general population has considered suicide at some time in their lives.

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death overall in America, third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10-24 and the second-leading cause of death for American college students.

It is the fifth leading cause of death for children ages 5-14.

There are an estimated 864,950 attempts per year in the U.S.; 13.8 million Americans will attempt suicide in their lifetime. Each suicide produces at least six, and as many as hundreds of survivors.

Sources: Walla Walla County Coroner, the Washington state Department of Health, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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