The point of the story is that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US and accounts for twice as many deaths each year as homicides (see Table 5.2 in my 11th edition), and yet it is rarely a topic of public discussion.
The podcast focuses on Las Vegas. When most people think of Vegas, they think of slot machines, bright lights, maybe a certain Elvis song. Most people immediately think of suicide — except for Matt Wray, a Temple sociologist who has been studying the topic extensively.
Wray was living in Las Vegas when he was struck by the city’s high suicide rate. In fact, it’s got the highest urban rate in the country. Wray got curious about whether the city was “suicidogenic” — whether Las Vegas actually increases the risk of suicide. The answer from his research? A resounding yes. Vegas residents, and even visitors to the city, are at an increased risk of suicide. Wray explains why.