July 18, 2011

Rocky Mountain Low

Colorado and other Rocky Mountain states lead in suicides. No one knows why, but they trot out various explanations. Is because too many non-suicidal people live here?

ADDED: National parks also attract those who wish to die in beautiful settings.


Janeen said...

So, living in an area where I'm surrounded by poor, fat, surly people is a good thing!

Heather Houlahan said...

They get close to it, but I am guessing that places with low nativity rates / high levels of transplanted people have higher suicide rates.

Or it could be more prosaic. "Suicide" rates are higher in places where one is further from medical care. Where high-quality prehospital care and top-notch EDs are quickly accessible, suicides are converted into suicide attempts.

On a meta-level, better emergency medicine, and faster access to it, accounts for some of the decline in murder rate, too.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Janeen, there is also the phenomenon of suicide in beautiful settings, such as national parks, mountains. etc. I have seen that right in this county.

Perhaps, Heather, such people deliberately seek spots where no one is going to "help" them too quickly.

Anonymous said...

Western folk have a strong history of ranching and farming, hunting and hard outdoor work. That history informs the notion that there are worse ways to die than at a time and place of your choosing.

Heather Houlahan said...

My experience on body recovery from self-caused deaths suggest that you are correct there.

I remember one guy -- well, I had a fair amount of searching data on his health and personal situation, and you could not move me to second-guess his decision or timing.

But geez, dude, could you not find a pretty waterfall with a TRAIL leading to it. Maybe one that was not at the bottom of a ravine.