(Reuters Health) – Being connected to friends, family and social groups may offer some protection against suicide, suggests a new U.S. study.
Among more than 70,000 women followed for almost 20 years, those who were the most socially connected were about 75 percent less likely than the least-connected to die by suicide.
“It’s an important problem,” said Dr. Alexander Tsai, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “Suicide is one of the top 10 leading causes of death among women, and rates are climbing.”
Tsai told Reuters Health that society’s response to suicide tends to be focused on mental illness, but it needs to be broader. “Practically speaking, I would say one important take-home message is that there are many potential factors that may lead people to take their lives,” he said.