HEALTH

Virginia suicides at 13-year high

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A report from the state medical examiner's office shows suicides in Virginia hit a 13-year high in 2011.

The 2011 statistics are the latest available. They're contained in a report on state deaths compiled annually that was first reported by WWBT-TV.

The report shows that Virginians are three times more likely to die from suicide than homicide. Older, white males were the most likely to kill themselves.

Suicides peaked at 1,067 in 2011 after a steady increase. The least amount of suicides during the 13-year span was in 2000, when 775 people claimed their own lives.

Handguns were used in nearly have of the suicides, followed by hangings and drug use.

The agency says unemployment, relationship problems and lack of access to mental health resources contribute to rising numbers.

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