A graphic from a great NYT story today on suicide in rural America:
Presumably, Nevada has its own, anomalous, explanation for high suicide rates. As for the elevated risk of suicide in rural areas more generally, the article cites a number of different causes that are seen by experts as being responsible: guns, the lower quality of mental health services in rural areas, and various "cultural" factors. Myself, I would need to be statistically convinced that the difference wasn't entirely the result of differences in the availability and mundaneness of guns. Take a depressed male with a firearm and comfort in using it, and you've basically made death as convenient of an impulse buy as an ill-considered book buy for people who have Amazon One-Click purchasing activated.
I suppose what I feel is that particularly toxic combination is the combination of high rate of ambient firearms in combination with high rates of alcohol consumption. Brayden has a link to a service in which people can prevent themselves from drunk-dialing someone, now if only there could be a service where people can be kept from using their own guns to drunk-dispatch themselves.
(The NYT story coincides, incidentally, with jnsys's post about a suicide in my own rural hometown. There are virtues to the rural small-town life, to be sure, but, honestly: no matter what ends up happening to me on the quirky life path I've chosen for myself, I feel just so lucky/grateful/happy that I managed to get myself out of that place.)