It's a gorgeous sunny day outside, and you're as far from the beach as you can get, stuck inside your airtight office with summer 2010 pretty much over forever. But take heart; statistics show that escape from this cruel world awaits just a few flights of stairs away, up toward the roof, where New Yorkers (or those just visiting New York) attempt to end it all in numbers far surpassing the rest of America. Nationally, just 2% of suicide attempts take place from tall buildings, but here in the Big Apple, almost 20% of suicides are committed via gravity.
Jumping isn't an "only in New York" phenomenon, but it is "mainly in New York," where opportunities await around every corner. The Wall Street Journal reports that "between 1976 (the first year that such statistics were published) and 1991, jumping deaths were actually the No. 1 way people committed suicide in the city." In the subsequent decades, this method was surpassed by "hanging, strangulation or suffocation." But jumping still has cachet, as evidenced by one man's miraculously failed suicide attempt from the roof of a 40-floor building on West End Avenue.
Research shows that the period of time that people are feeling "suicidal with high intent to die is fairly time-limited," hence the high rate of jumping suicides in NYC, where there are lethal heights everywhere. (Out in "real America," suicide by gun is by far the most popular method, at 53%.) One ray of sunshine in the Journal's article is that our city's suicide rate is about half that of the rest of the country's rate. Also noteworthy: you can now delete "existence" from that famous category of stuff white people like, because the majority of all suicides in the city are committed by the white man.