NYC Jumper Suicides Soar Above the National Average

By DNAinfo Staff on September 7, 2010 11:03am

By Olivia Scheck

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — A suicidal 22-year-old captured the city's attention last week, when he survived a 39-story fall from the top of an Upper West Side apartment building. But Thomas Magill might have become one of the faceless thousands that have plunged to their deaths from New York's skyline, if not for his miraculous survival.

A shocking 5,000 people leapt to their deaths in New York City between 1976 and 2008, when the statistics were last reported, according to the Wall Street Journal. Ninety-three people jumped to their death during 2008 alone, the paper said.

"Jumping from high places" was the second most popular method of suicide among New Yorkers, behind "hanging, strangulation or suffocation," with one in seven U.S. jumper suicides taking place in the city, according to the Journal.

"Jumping from high places" has been the second most common method of suicide in New York City since 1997, the Journal reported.
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While jumper suicides accounted for 23 percent of suicides in New York City between 2000 and 2008, they made up just two percent of suicides nation-wide, the Journal reported.

Why are there are so many jumping deaths in New York City?

Ann Haas, of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, explained that access to lethal means is one of the risk factors for suicides, according to the paper.

In New York "there's access to lethal means every time you walk into a building," Haas added.