Suicides in Virginia hit a 13-year high in 2011, and the state medical examiner's office links unemployment, relationship problems and lack of access to mental health resources to the rising tide.
The 2011 statistics—contained in a report on state deaths compiled annually—shows Virginians are three times more likely to die from suicide than homicide. Older, white males were the most likely to take their own lives.
There were 1,067 suicides in Virginia in 2011. They occurred most frequently with males (78 percent), whites (87 percent) and people age 45-54 years old (23 percent).
Nearly half of the deaths involved self-inflicted gunshots followed by hangings and drug use. The highest rates of suicide are found in the southwestern and western parts of the commonwealth.