Lack of Health Insurance Linked to Suicide Risk in New Study

People without health insurance often go without the medical care they need and are more at risk than normal for illnesses. A new report suggests the uninsured are also more at risk for suicide.States with high rates of uninsured residents also have high rates of suicide, according to a new report commissioned by the nonprofit Mental Health America. The study, which was released to USA Today, was sponsored by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and conducted by a researcher at the information technologies company Thompson Healthcare

The author told USA Today that the report doesn’t prove that a lack of care causes suicide, but “it suggests we should be monitoring mental health care and comparing outcomes.”

Colorado ranks fairly high in its rates of uninsured and suicides. About 17.1 percent of Coloradans were uninsured in 2004, according to the Colorado Health Institute. Fifteen other states have higher rates of uninsured residents. Only five states had higher suicide rates in 2004 than Colorado’s, which was 17.3 for every 100,000 residents.