Methods that are most easily available are most likely to be used, and media publicity about a suicide is often followed by other deaths by the same method. Methods can be thought of as violent (hanging or jumping) and non-violent (drugs and other forms of poison). Males and mentally disordered persons tend toward violent methods; females toward non-violent.

Hanging/strangling/suffocation and gassing by car exhaust fumes (carbon monoxide) are now the most common methods taken overall, although poisoning (often by medicinal drugs) remains the commonest method in women. Other methods include drowning, shooting, cutting, jumping, and burning.

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