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Man kills himself at workplace

ALBANY, Ga. -- An employee hanged himself from a railing at American Lube Fast before 8:20 a.m. Thursday.

Kenneth E. Riley Jr., 46, of Albany, was dead when officers arrived at the 2311 N. Slappey Blvd. facility, said Phyllis Banks, Albany Police Department spokeswoman.

According to David Sparks, police crime analyst, this is the second Albany suicide this year. There were three other attempted suicides police responded to in that period.

Last year, 59 people tried to kill themselves in Albany, resulting in five deaths. With a population of 75,616 according to the U.S. Census Bureau, that number of incidents could seem high to the layperson, but it is not.

"The number of attempts doesn't really count because they could be involved in something else, like a cry for help," said Pogos H. Voskanian, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Drexel University College of Medicine in Pennsylvania. "Five suicides in a city of that size are about the same as the national average."

Suicide is a complicated subject, the experts spoken to Thursday agreed. There are many factors involved but generalizations could be made.

Stress such as financial problems, job loss or personal problems such as a lost relationship and family conflicts could all contribute to an attempted suicide.

"Suicide happens for all sorts of reasons, including personality factors, stress," said Amy House, a psychologist in the department of psychiatry at Georgia Health Sciences University.

"There could also be an underlying mental problem such as depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety disorder could all contribute to a suicide," she said. "Alcohol or drugs can also be involved."

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website afsp.org, every 15 minutes, someone dies from a self-inflicted wound in America. The 11th leading cause of death in the country is estimated to be attempted by nearly 1 million people a year.

The website also states that "research has shown that 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death, most often unrecognized or untreated depression."

National Suicide Hotline: (800) 273-8255