Suicide is a preventable health problem. We’re raising awareness during National Suicide Prevention Week so that we can stop the deaths. It is important to learn the facts and warning signs so that we can stop our loved ones from completing suicide.
In 2007, the latest year for which we have data, in the U.S.:
- More than 34,000 people died by suicide.
- An average of 94.8 individuals per day (one per 15.2 minutes) will die by suicide.
- Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death, with a rate of 11.5 per 100,000.
- Males complete suicide at a rate four times that of females; however, females attempt suicide three times more often than males.
- The suicide rates for Whites are approximately twice those of non-Whites.
- Mental health diagnoses are generally associated with a higher rate of suicide. The risk for suicide is increased in depressed and alcoholic individuals.
- Feelings of hopelessness are found to be more predictive of suicide risk than depression per se.
- The vast majority of individuals who are suicidal often display clues and warning signs.
Youth (ages 15-24):
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death; only accidents and homicides are more frequent.
- The 2007 rate was 10 suicides per 100,000 (a total of 4,189).
- One youth completes suicide every 2 hours and 7 minutes, which is about 11.3 each day.
- Males between the ages of 20 and 24 were 5.3 times more likely than females to complete suicide. Males between 15 and 19 were 4.5 times more likely than females to complete suicide.
- For every completed suicide by youth, it is estimated that 100 to 200 attempts are made.
Elderly (over 65):
- The elderly make up 12.5% of the population but account for 15.7% of all suicides.
- In 2007, there were 5,421 elderly suicides (14.9 per day).
- Elderly white men are at the highest risk with a rate of approximately 31.1 suicides per 100,000 each year.
- The rate of suicide for women declines after age 60 (after peaking in middle adulthood, ages 40-54).
- Although older adults attempt suicide less often than those in other age groups, they have a higher completion rate. Over the age of 65, there is 1 suicide for every 4 attempts.
The Mnemonic IS PATH WARM? was developed to help focus on warning signs for suicidal people.
IS PATH WARM
I • Ideation S • Substance Abuse P • Purposelessness
A • Anxiety T • Trapped H • Hopelessness W • Withdrawal A • Anger R • Recklessness M • Mood Change
If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms get help right away.
Resource – American Association of Suicidology
If you are in a crisis and need help right away:
Call this toll-free number, available 24 hours a day, every day: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service available to anyone. You may call for yourself or for someone you care about. All calls are confidential.
Learn to take control of your mental health; go to the Dr. Owens Mental Health Prescreen Assessment and check your mental status today!