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Facts About Suicide

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than twice many lives each year as homicides.
  • On average, more than 33,000 Americans died each year between 2001 and 2009 as a result of suicide – more than 1 person every 15 minutes.
  • More than 8 million adults reported having serious suicidal thoughts in the past year, 2.5 million people reported making a suicide plan in the past year, and 1.1 million reported a suicide attempt in the past year.
  • Nearly 16 percent of students in grades 9 to 12 report having seriously considered suicide, and 7.8 percent report having attempted suicide once or more in the past 12 months

Suicide Warning Signs

  • Talking about wanting to die; feeling hopeless, trapped, or in unbearable pain; being a burden to others;
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself;
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs;
  • Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless;
  • Sleeping too little or too much;
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated;
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge; and
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

What you can do if you believe someone is at risk of suicide:

  • Ask them if they are thinking about killing themselves. (This will not put the idea into their heads, or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide.);
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.TALK (8255);
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional;
  • Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and
  • If possible, do not leave the person alone.

Disparities/Age Differences

  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among persons aged 15-24 years, the second among persons aged 25-34 years, the fourth among persons aged 35-54 years, and the eighth among persons 55-64 years.
  • Suicide among males is four times higher than among females and represents 79% of all U.S. suicides.
  • Females are more likely than males to have had suicidal thoughts.
  • Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide among males (56%).
  • Poisoning is the most common method of suicide for females (37.4%).