Suicide

Wolf Administration Creates Suicide Prevention Task Force

May 31, 2019
Brett Sholtis / Transforming Health

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's administration is bringing together state agencies to address suicide in the commonwealth. 

Suicide rates in Pennsylvania increased 34 percent between 1999 and 2016, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We have an obligation to provide resources and promote safe, supportive environments so people we serve know that there are places to turn if they are in crisis," Wolf said in a news release.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

An Allegheny County jail inmate has died.

Timothy Pauley, 34, of Weirton, W. Va. had attempted suicide on Sunday and was found unresponsive in his cell.

Pauley was transported to UPMC Mercy Hospital where he died Thursday afternoon. The county medical examiner has not yet issued a cause of death.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Pauley was facing a homicide charge in the December death of 48-year-old Thomas Garner.

John Minchillo / AP

A new study from University of Pittsburgh researchers finds that when predicting suicide risk in young adults, extra focus should be paid to the fluctuation of depressive symptoms.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A 2014 study of 1,609 Allegheny County teens between the ages of 14 and 19 found those who have lost a friend or family member to murder are three times more likely to attempt suicide. In total, 13 percent of those surveyed reported to have suffered this loss. 

Reasons Sought For Increase In Pennsylvania Prison Suicides

Oct 21, 2018
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Why are so many Pa. prison inmates committing suicide?

tengrrl / Flickr

The suicide rate among survivors of head and neck cancers is more than four times higher than suicide among the general U.S. population; male survivors of these cancers are six times more likely than females to commit suicide.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Ohio's voter registration law in a 5-4 ruling Monday that loosens restrictions on how and when the state can purge its voter rolls. Proponents of the law argue it keeps their record books cleaner, while voting rights activists argue it punishes registered voters for not exercising that right, and disproportionally removes minority and Democratic names.

Screengrab / CDC

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday. Since 2016, there have been 45,000 suicides nationwide.

Blair Roughley / Netflix/AP

A University of Pittsburgh psychiatrist is one of the primary collaborators on a new, public health toolkit that presents important information related to the Netflix program “13 Reasons Why,” a teen drama that depicts events surrounding a high school girl’s suicide.

The second season came out earlier this month. 

Tony Dejak / AP

The suicide rate among young black children is double that of their white peers, according to a new study co-authored by a Carnegie Mellon University statistician. 

Most Big Public Colleges Don't Track Suicides

Jan 2, 2018
Beth J. Harpaz / AP

Most of the largest U.S. public universities do not track suicides among their students, despite making investments in prevention at a time of surging demand for mental health services.

Tabulating student suicides comes with its own set of challenges and problems. But without that data, prevention advocates say, schools have no way to measure their success and can overlook trends that could offer insight to help them save lives.

Tony Talbot / AP

The death rate in Pennsylvania from drugs, alcohol and suicide could increase 46 percent over the next decade. That’s according to a new report released by Well Being Trust, a national foundation that aims to improve mental health. 

“We’re turning to more lethal means to address our pain,” said Well Being Trust chief policy officer Benjamin Miller. He said nationwide those deaths could jump by 60 percent over the next 10 years if current trends continue.

Keith Srakocic / AP


Allegheny County has adopted a new comprehensive policy regarding the treatment of pregnant inmates—a result of a suit filed against the county alleging cruel and unusual punishment of five women who were placed in solitary confinement for minor infractions.

Ryan Melaugh / Flickr

A new analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released earlier this month shows the suicide rate among females aged 15 to 19 hit a 40-year high in 2015.

The new data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics finds suicide rates doubled for females and rose by more than 30 percent for boys in the same age group between 2007 and 2015. 

hipponotized / Flickr

Five years ago, Dr. Lisa Pan had a patient whose depression was so severe that no form of treatment would take away his suicidal thoughts.

'Here One Day' Film Explores Suicide And Mental Illness

Feb 22, 2016
Here One Day

Suicide has become the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. The family and friends left behind after this tragedy struggle to understand and talk about it. Kathy Leichter is a documentary filmmaker and former WQED Associate Producer. She’s in town today to screen her award-winning film “Here One Day” about her journey revisiting her mother’s belongings after her suicide. Afterward she’ll host a conversation to talk about mental health and the stigma surrounding suicide. She joined us from New York to talk about the film and the screening.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Saturday brought to Pittsburgh some of the most unpleasant weather yet this season, but a few dozen people braved the cold and rain to hold vigil for someone they had never met.

Andi Woodhouse, 24, jumped from the 10th Street Bridge to his death on December 13th. Organizers of Saturday’s vigil say he was mis-gendered in reports from the medical examiner’s office and various media outlets, which had referred to Woodhouse as a woman named Amber.

Project 22 Explores the Issue of Suicide Among Veterans

Oct 6, 2014
Theo Collins

According to the Veteran’s Administration, it is estimated 22 veterans commit suicide every day. This sobering fact served as the impetus for the documentary Project 22.

The film chronicles the journey of two combat-wounded veterans across America. They traveled the country to speak with veterans who had contemplated, or attempted suicide, as well as researchers and healthcare providers. Joining us to discuss the film is Theo Collins, a law student at Duquesne University, a Marine Corps veteran and an associate producer of the film.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs released a report last year stating that an estimated 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

That number hit home for Marine Sgt. Daniel Egbert and Army Sgt. Matt King; both of whom served in Iraq. The two set out on a 22-day road trip from Los Angeles to Ground Zero in New York, producing a documentary focused on raising awareness about veteran suicide.

That documentary is "Project 22."

Bhutanese Refugees Face a High Suicide Rate

Jan 29, 2014

At a conference held in Pittsburgh last fall, several dozen men from around the United States discussed a disturbing trend in their community: the high suicide rate and prevalence of depression among Bhutanese-Nepali refugees.

"People are looking for resources where they can go to curb this mental health issue," said Buddha Mani Dhakal, editor of the Bhutan News Service.