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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2006 Feb;36(1):1-11.

Belief in the inevitability of suicide: results from a national survey.

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Harvard School of Public Health, Rm. #305 Kresge Building, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


To examine public opinion regarding the effectiveness of means restriction as an approach to preventing suicide we asked a national sample of 2,770 respondents a hypothetical question about what effect a suicide barrier might have had on the ultimate fate of the more than 1,000 people who have jumped to their death from the Golden Gate Bridge. Thirty-four percent of respondents believed that every single jumper would have found another way to complete suicide and an additional 40% believed that "most" would have completed suicide using other means. The strongest predictors of belief in complete substitution were firearm ownership and cigarette smoking. Belief in the inevitability of suicide may be a political impediment to adopting potentially effective suicide prevention efforts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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