The key to suicide prevention is knowledge. Individual attitudes and mindsets vary when it comes to suicide. For some people, suicide is a rare condition and not worth their attention. For others, suicide (and for that matter mental health) are taboo subjects. Worse, some people see those with suicidal thoughts, depression, etc. as untouchables who are less than human. All of these approaches are enabling behaviors that actually favor suicide attempts & completions rather than preventing them. And this is why I present you with 15 Crucial Statistics for Suicide Awareness & Prevention. The statistics are alarming. The data regarding children is disheartening. Suicide is real but it is preventable. No one person should be left alone to fight this condition. At the end of this post, I provide some additional links from organizations devoted to suicide prevention. In addition, you may also want to check out my post entitled 7 Misconceptions About Suicide. Also, I have included the professional references for these statitistics at the end of this article.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-44 years.
Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year.
There is one death by suicide in the United States every 13 minutes. Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide.
An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors.
Regarding the young:
- 1 in 100,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year.
- 7 in 100,000 youth ages 15 to 19 die by suicide each year.
- 12.7 in 100,000 young adults ages 20-24 die by suicide each year.
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans.
The occurrence of suicidal thoughts, suicidal planning and suicide attempts is significantly higher among adults aged 18-29 years than among adults aged 30+.
For adults ages 18-65, suicide is the 4th leading cause of death.
Suicide among males is 4 times higher than among females. Male deaths represent 79% of all US suicides.
Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed.
Regarding the older Americans:
- The highest increase in suicide is in males 50+: 30 per 100,000.
- Suicide rates for females are highest among those aged 45-54: 9 per 100,000.
- Suicide rates for males are highest among those aged 75+: 36 per 100,000.
Approximately 2/3 of people who complete suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths. Depression that is untreated, undiagnosed, or ineffectively treated is the number 1 cause of suicide.
Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year.
Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment.
80% -90% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication.
- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)
- American Association of Suicidology
References for 15 Crucial Statistics for Suicide Awareness & Prevention
1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2American Association of Suicidology
3National Institute of Mental Health
4Society and Mental Health Journal
5University Behavioral HealthCare. “Facts about Suicide and Mental Disorders in Adolescents.” Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Accessed February 25, 2014, http://ubhc.rutgers.edu/brti/tlc/suicideAwareness/Facts%20About%20Suicide%20and%20Mental%20Disorders%20in%20Adolescents.pdf.
6National Alliance on Mental Illness
7TAPS Study (Team for the Assessment of Psychiatric Services)