Suicide rate higher, but nowhere near double than pre-Katrina,
Whew! that's a relief
The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans' suicide rate appears to have gone up in the first six months after Hurricane Katrina evacuees were allowed back home, but the increase could be due to chance instead of post-storm depression, a new study by Louisiana's state epidemiologist found.
So what does THAT mean? chance?
Dr. Raoult Ratard took a unique approach to studying the death and suicide rate because there have been no firm estimates of how many people have returned after the storm. Various sources have put the number at anywhere from less than 200,000 to around 250,000 out of the pre-Katrina Census figure of just under 455,000.
So, Ratard compared the number of deaths from October 2005 (when the city was re-opened after the storm) through March 2006 to the number of deaths for the same period the year before. The pre-storm death total was 2,507; post storm, 1,024. The ratio was 0.41.
The number of pre-storm suicides was 16; post storm, 11. The ratio was 0.69.
So, the suicide ratio was higher than the death ratio. But the totals are too small to conclude that Katrina caused the increase. "They are not big enough so that you can say with certainty that it would not be due to chance," he said.
some people will do ANYTHING for study money.
...a recent study which found that seriously depressed survivors of the storm thought about suicide far less often than people in that shape before Katrina.
But, since the number of seriously depressed people is much higher, the total percentage of people considering suicide could still be higher or about the same....
STOP!!! stop the number manipulation! my head hurts!
It's hard to say whether figures will show that suicides increased after March or around the recent Aug. 29 anniversary, Kessler said. Anniversaries of traumatic events such as divorce or a child's death do increase the chance of suicide, but concern by public figures and a feeling of pulling together may counterbalance that.
"It's hard to know. It could go either way," he said. "I'm much more concerned about the long-term grinding effect on people ...
The mayor just gave another speech saying people have got to realize it's going to be a while, and people say, `A while! It's been a while. How long is a while?'"
No, they're not quite saying THAT. Here's what they're saying...
Ratard's study also found a significant drop in the rate of homicides. However the study period ended just as the city's homicide lull did.
There had been 19 homicides in the October through March after the storm, compared to 129 in the same period a year earlier. But there were 13 in June, followed by 21 — just under the monthly average before Katrina — in July, and 98 so far this year.
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