NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– More New Yorkers have died from committing suicide than motor vehicle accidents or homicides between 2000 to 2014, according to a new report.
The Health Department released the findings Wednesday suggesting that suicide rates have risen throughout the area over the years, with 565 suicides reported in 2014.
The rate increased from 5.5 in 200 to 6.3 per 100,000 people in 2014, according to the report. The increase mirrors the nationwide trend of the suicide rate rising. However, New York City remains well below the national average of 13 per 100,000 in 2014.
The report also found that men represent the majority of suicides, with 393 men taking their lives in 2014 compared to 172 women, WCBS 880 Peter Haskell reported.
However, the increased rate from 2000 to 2014 was primarily among women (56 percent increase), while the suicide rate among men remained steady.
The suicide rate was highest among women between the ages of 45 and 64, the study found.
“The data released today on suicide in New York City makes clear that a person’s untreated mental illness can result in premature and tragic death,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray.
McCray said that the city is expanding mental health resources to treat mental illness before they become more serious. She emphasizes that people need more help fighting the stigma against mental illness and emotional distress.
The Health Department found that suicide rates in New York City are highest among white men and that rates have increased in Manhattan and Queens over the years, while other boroughs have remained steady.
The most recent data shows that 10 percent of all suicides in New York City were due to firearm deaths.
“This is an alarming study showing that we need to do more to slow down the increase in suicide rates, both nationally and in New York City. However, we can take some comfort from the fact that New York City suicide rates are well below the national average. Clearly we are doing something right,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen, Chair of the Committee on Mental Health.
ThriveNYC, an initiative led by McCray and the Health Department, has launched 54 programs to raise awareness about the need to seek help while increasing access to mental health services across the city.
You can help prevent suicide by learning the warning signs. The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change.
• Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
• Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
• Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
• Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing or isolating themselves
• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
• Displaying extreme mood swings
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-LIFENET. If someone is in imminent danger, call 911.