A new UCLA study has found that 2.4 million California adults have seriously considered committing suicide in their lifetimes.
Researchers at the UCLA Center for Heath Policy Research based their findings on 2009 data from the California Health Interview Survey, which is conducted by the state.
Researchers found that more than a half million California adults gave serious consideration to killing themselves in 2009.
Of those with serious suicidal thoughts, homosexuals and bisexuals were found to be at greatest risk for suicide. Those groups reported thoughts of suicide at 6.5 percent, or more than three times that of the general population.
Among ethnic groups, American Indians and Alaska Natives had the highest level of suicidal thoughts (6.2 percent), followed by smokers (about 5 percent) and people with mental, emotional and physical disabilities (4.2 percent).
Of unmarried adults surveyed, 2.6 percent were found to have thought about killing themselves, as compared to 1.1 percent of their married peers.
The study also found that 65 percent of adults afflicted with serious psychological distress who had recent suicidal thoughts received little or no treatment.
Researchers hope their findings will help prevent some suicides by focusing attention on those most in need of help.
Those with thoughts of suicide or feelings of depression are encouraged to call the confidential hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at - 1-800-273-TALK (8255).