Wileisha Stevens, Suzanne Blais, Ivory Grey, Ryan Dykes, Elizabeth Sieber

HPEB 300/Section 003
Team Mental Disorders

1. Describe the health problem, Define important/relevant terms associated with this

problem. Remember to include references (in APA format) for this information.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2016), suicide is a serious

public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and

communities. It is seen as the only and final option to some when they are too overwhelmed with

life. People have to deal with juggling so many things in life from school, family, health, and

other various issues. Also, when a person doesn’t feel loved or accepted, they tend to have

negative thoughts about themselves and life. Being too overwhelmed or getting to the point of

being in a depressed state are two of the main things that lead to someone taking their own life.

So, it all comes down to the state of a person's mental health. The worse someone’s mental health

is the more likely they are to commit suicide.

 Terms associated with this problem: Depression, suicide, and mental illness.

o Depression - a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad,

hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal way. (“Merriam-

Webster Dictionary”, n.d.).

o Mental Illness - any broad range of medical conditions that are marked primarily

by sufficient disorganization of personality, mind, or emotions to impair normal

psychological functioning and cause marked distress or disability and that are

typically associated with a disruption in normal thinking, feeling, mood, behavior,

interpersonal interactions, or daily functioning (“Merriam-Webster Medical

Dictionary”, n.d.).
o Suicide - the act of killing yourself because you do not want to continue living

(“Merriam-Webster Dictionary”, n.d.).

o Suicide attempt - A non-fatal, self-directed, potentially injurious behavior with an

intent to die as a result of the behavior; might not result in injury (Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention, 2016).

2. Discuss the scope of this health problem at the national, state, and local levels.

(epidemiological data; quantitative data- helpful sources may be SC DHEC, CDC,


 National Level

o Suicide is an enormous public health problem in the United States and around the

world. Suicide at he the national level happens to affect the people ages 10-34

years old in the second rank after unintentional injury. Suicide ranks number four

affecting the ages 35-54 years old. Suicide ranks number eight for people of ages

55-64 years old. A total of 425 people commits suicide between the ages 15-24

years old. The ages 25-34 years old there are 6,569 people who commits suicide.

The ages 35-44 there are 6,706 people that commit suicide. The highest to commit

suicide was the age group 45-54 years of age. The ages 55-64 there were 7,527

people who committed suicide.

 State Level

o In 2009 studies show a total of 36,909 suicides occurred in the United States. The

CDC provides an update on the prevalence of suicidal behavior over the past

decade. The socioeconomic and cultural factors with which suicidal behavior is

associated, such as the quality and quantity of mental health services. According
to the centers for disease control white non-Hispanic males there was 24,248

people who committed suicide. For white non-Hispanic females there were 5,565

people who committed suicide. Black non-Hispanic men there was 1,649 who

committed suicide. Black non-Hispanic women there were 385 people that

committed suicide. Hispanic men there were 2,135 people that committed suicide.

For Hispanic women there were 438 women who committed suicide. With all

these suicides happening at a state level it affects all of us a lot. People may be

very close to a person that commits suicide this can hurt that person very deeply.

This could be someone’s mom, dad, sister, brother or even cousin. This person

could also be well known and when everyone finds out this would hurt them a lot.

 Local Levels

o Suicide it is said to be the third leading cause of death among young adults

worldwide. It’s the leading cause of injury and death. It is important for policy

making and prevention for suicide rates. Each year 30,000 people die of suicides.

The seriousness and scope of suicide had led both the WHO and the US

government to call for an expansion of data for suicide rates. Suicide was the

second out of the top ten for the leading cause’s deaths in Richland County.

Statistics showed that there were 56 people who committed suicide in the year


3. Describe in more detail the population(s) affected by this problem? Include such

information as age, gender, race, ect. (demographic data; quantitative data- helpful

sources may be SC DHEC, CDC, WHO). You may use bullet points. Remember to

include references (in APA format) for this information.
On the national level, according to Center of Disease Control and Prevention (2015):

 Males commit suicide four times more than females, prevailing at 77.9% of all suicides.

 Females have a greater chance in having suicidal thoughts than males.

 Death by suicide is more common in males than females, being the 7th leading cause of

death in males, and 14th leading cause in females.

 Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death between ages 15-34, 3rd leading cause of death

between ages 10-14, 4th leading cause of death between ages 35-44, 5th leading cause of

death between ages 55-64, and 6th leading cause of death of ages 65 and older.

 American Indians/Alaska native adolescents and young adults from ages 15-34 have a

national average 1.5 times higher for their age group in suicide rates.

On the state level, in South Carolina, according to Mental Health America of South Carolina


 Although females attempt suicide three times more than males on average, males are

more than 3.85 times likely to die by suicide.

 White Americans are affected by suicide more than Americans of other races.

 Suicide is said to increase with age; elderly over the age of 65 accounted for over 15% of


 SC reported suicides in 2010.

 For college students, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death, the 3rd leading cause of

death in ages 15-24, 5th leading cause of death for ages 10-14, and the 10th leading cause

of death in the overall population.

South Carolina’s suicide rate is 14.25, which is above the national rate of 12.94 per

100,000 Americans according to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2015).
Data collected from SCDHEC in South Carolina Vital and Morbidity Statistics 2013, goes on to

tell us the deaths due to suicide in that year for all of South Carolina Counties. The total number

of deaths for the year of 2013 was 698. The counties with the highest number of deaths from

suicide include:

 Greenville county (85 total deaths)

 Richland county (51 total deaths)

 Charleston county (45 total deaths)

4. Why is this issue important to those directly affected by it? How does this problem affect

the lives of those who have it?

When Tim Lawrence was a only seventeen years old, he tried to kill himself twice due to

a severe case of depression (Lawrence, 2016, para. 7). The first suicide attempt was with pills in

his best friends bathroom (Lawrence, 2016, para. 7). After waking up the next morning and

realizing that he was still alive, he was “disappointed to feel just as hollow as I had the day

before” (Lawrence, 2016, para. 10). If he had been successful, his best friend would have found

his lifeless body laying on the cold bathroom floor. That image would have stayed with him

forever. He would have had to call Tim’s mom and tell her that her baby boy was dead; those

words would have haunted her for the rest of her life. Everyone who cared about Tim would

grieve and question what they could have done differently in order to save him. Depression and

suicide do not just affect the person suffering from the mental illness, they impact the lives of

everyone that that person comes in contact with.

Drowning in his sense of hopelessness, he decided to try and end his life again a few

weeks later with a razor blade to the wrist (Lawrence, 2016, para. 12). Lawrence remembers that,

“As scared as I was, I reasoned that the pain of killing myself would pale in comparison to the
pain of living a life comprised entirely of pain. I was using pain to eliminate pain” (Lawrence,

2016, para. 12). Suicide seemed like his only way to escape the looming sense of hopelessness

and emptiness that embodied his life. He couldn’t focus on his schoolwork, he became distant

from his family and friends, and he was no longer a participating member of society; he was no

longer living his life, he was merely existing (Lawrence, 2016, para. 25).

5. Upon which level of prevention will your group be focusing your program: Primary,

secondary or tertiary?

 Primary prevention

6. Based on the information above, state the health problem and the specific target group

for your health program intervention. You may want to focus on a target group by age,

gender, race, location, etc. For your final report, you must be able to justify selection of

this target.

 Suicide in traditional white male college students (ages 18 through 22) within Richland

county of South Carolina.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013, November 22). Ten leading causes of death

by age group. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-


Center of Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Suicide facts at a glance. Retrieved

from http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/Suicide-DataSheet-a.pdf

Center of Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Definitions: Self-directed violence. Retrieved

from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/definitions.html

Center of Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, August 15). Suicide purevention. Retrieved

from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/index.html

Depression. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster Dictionary online. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-


Lawrence, T. (2016, March 08). Surviving the beasts of depression and suicide [Web log post].

Retrieved from http://www.timjlawrence.com/blog/2016/3/8/suicide

Mental Health America of South Carolina. (2016). Facts about suicide. Retrieved from


Mental Illness.(n.d.). In Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary online. Retrieved from


Nock, K. M. (2008). Journal of Suicide and Suicidal Behavior, 30(1), 133-154. doi:

http://dx.doi 10.1093/epirev/mxn002

SCDHEC Vital Statistics (2016, May 2). Chronic disease epidemiology. Retrieved from

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Office of Public

Health Statistics and Information Services, Division of Biostatistics. (2014). Annual vital

statistics series. South Carolina Vital and Morbidity Statistics 2013, 1(136). Retrieved

from https://www.scdhec.gov/Health/docs/BiostatisticsPubs/vms2013.pdf

Suicide. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster Dictionary online. Retrieved from